Leading figures from the worlds of business, economic and visitor development, tourism and regeneration recently gathered at a Nottinghamshire tourism summit, writes Coun Kay Cutts.
The summit highlighted the council’s ten-year plan to increase tourism by 20 per cent, which in turn will create 2,900 jobs and boost the local economy by more than £240 million.
I am a proud resident of Nottinghamshire and I’d like the rest of the country to know just what this wonderful county has to offer in terms of our fascinating history and heritage, visitor attractions and spectacular nature reserves like Creswell Crags and Sherwood Forest.
Award-winning Creswell Crags in Worksop is truly a hidden gem.
The magnificent magnesian limestone gorge which is dotted with a large number of caves, fissures and rock shelters, harbours many secrets from Britian’s prehistoric past.
The siege of Newark Castle is a story that is not often told and the county’s involvement in the English Civil War.
It started in Nottingham and finished in Nottinghamshire – a little-known fact.
Nottinghamshire also played a significant role in the journey of the Mayflower Pilgrims, one that is charted at the Mayflower Pilgrims Visitor Centre in Retford, and one that will be celebrated from this November with various events.
Of course, the summit was held in the grounds of Rufford Abbey Country Park, a venue that is regularly voted the county’s favourite free tourist attraction.
And there were also delegates attending from the DH Lawrence Museum and Thoresby Hall and Lord Byron’s ancestral home at Newstead Abbey.
A few weeks ago, across Britain, people commemorated the D-Day Landings.
And in Nottinghamshire there are two World War II sites that honour our war dead.
The county has numerous airfields and crash sites that pay homage to Nottinghamshire’s fallen.
So, there is no doubt Nottinghamshire has the history and heritage to rival any county and we Nottinghamshire folk need to shout about it.
There are also sporting venues that are the envy of the world, topped of course by the world-renowned Trent Bridge.
I want us to unlock the potential of the visitor economy and the benefits associated with tourism, creating jobs and opportunities for local people.
Increasing visitors to Nottinghamshire will increase the need for jobs, thereby improving local people’s prospects and quality of life.
Collectively we can make a difference and the summit is start of a journey that truly sees Nottinghamshire on the regional, national and international tourism map.