VisitEngland has today announced 12 destinations to gain Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status, in addition to the three North East Destination Development Partnership (DDP) pilot LVEPs announced earlier this year.
Marketing Cheshire, Experience Oxfordshire, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, Visit West, Marketing Manchester, Visit Peak District, Derbyshire and Derby, Visit Hertfordshire, Visit Kent, Liverpool City Region, Cumbria Tourism, and Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country join the programme alongside the North East DDP pilot LVEPs NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Visit County Durham and Visit Northumberland.
Developed and administered by VisitEngland, the national portfolio of strategic and high-performing LVEPs support collaborative working locally and nationally on shared priorities and targets to grow the local visitor economy. The creation of LVEPs was part of the UK Government’s response to the recommendations of ‘The de Bois Review: an independent review of DMOs in England,’ to reshape destination management across England, reducing fragmentation and bringing coherence to its DMO landscape.
Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool and Chair of Liverpool City Region Visitor Economy Board said:
“We are delighted that Liverpool City Region has been included in the first round of places to be given LVEP status by VisitEngland. The Visitor Economy makes a significant contribution to the regions economic success and as the next few weeks will demonstrate with the Grand National followed by Eurovision we are a leading area for UK tourism”
Janet Nuzum, Visitor Economy Sector Manager at Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company said:
“It’s fantastic news that the Liverpool city region LVEP application was successful and we look forward to working more with VisitEngland as the formal arrangements of the LVEP are developed. The new LVEP structures will bring together expertise from across the region into a new formal partnership which will co-ordinate resource to deliver strategic management and marketing activity. It builds on the current integrated regional partnerships roles and responsibilities of both private and public sector organisations and brings them together to provide a seamless centralised hub developing and directing activity.”
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said:
“VisitEngland is delighted to welcome onto the programme the new LVEPs, who will play a central role in transforming the visitor economy in England in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way. Ensuring we have the right national and local infrastructure in place to grow our visitor economy will ensure England continues to be a compelling destination, for both domestic and international visitors, for years to come.”
“We look forward to working in collaboration with the LVEPs, providing ongoing support including a team of dedicated VisitEngland regional development leads. LVEPs will also have access to resources and guidance from VisitBritain/VisitEngland in areas including product distribution, business support, bidding for funding and marketing.”
VisitEngland will work closely with LVEPs during the set-up process and beyond, with ongoing support from a team of five new Regional Development Leads. As well as a nationally recognised official status, LVEPs will also be able to access expert advice, dedicated toolkits and training programmes, targeting their needs, from VisitBritain/VisitEngland in areas ranging from distribution, accessibility and sustainability to business support and marketing. An important strand of support will be highlighting available Government funding streams as well as developing and providing a ‘toolkit’ to help LVEPs with bids to those streams.
VisitEngland welcomed the first three LVEPs, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Visit County Durham and Visit Northumberland, into the programme earlier this year. They form the pilot Destination Development Partnership (DDP) in the North East of England, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, first announced by the UK Government in November 2022. The pilot is a valuable opportunity to prove the DDP concept and the impact the model can have on growing the visitor economy, strengthening the case for future funding.
VisitEngland has worked in close consultation with DMOs to develop the LVEP programme, holding a series of roundtables across England in autumn 2022 with more than 100 participants.