Susannah Bleakley who co-ordinated the bid said: “This is great news for the Bay area - we hope this will bring an economic boost to the whole area, support over 260 tourism-related jobs and safeguard many thousands more. The funding will be used to connect and sign a 200Km ‘Bay Cycle Way’ starting in Heysham, deliver events, develop trails and apps to improve information for visitors and provide over 300 training places to support tourism businesses. Our Scheme is called ‘700 Days to transform the Bay’ – the money is time-limited, we have just two years to deliver.
700 Days will create new opportunities for visitors from near and far to explore and enjoy this fascinating area. Focusing on four clusters around the Bay, the Scheme aims to develop a distinctive, yet diverse offer within each cluster, and support the marketing of a more compelling destination. We want to bring more visitors who stay longer, travel sustainably, spend more, and repeat their visits.”
In addition, the Scheme will deliver 300 training places, connect 200 Km of cycleway, develop 3 new training courses, support 100 businesses and generate new business opportunities. Further value will come from attracting talent, building skills, improving the image of the area, and making more of the existing assets.
Captain Graham Maclean, Morecambe Bay Partnership Chair (formerly of Heysham Ports) said, “This adds to an impressive string of success - 2 million for Headlands to Headspace (H2H), 0.6 million for the Nature Improvement Area, and 1.2 million for Source to Sea. The way this Schemes dovetails with these other major investments, means it will deliver more bang for buck and an excellent return on investment.”
Susannah Bleakley of Morecambe Bay Partnership added, “We have more projects in the pipeline and want to make more good things happen, so that Morecambe Bay is recognised as an outstanding natural and cultural heritage site. Sadly, for too long the Bay has been marginalised, yet this project shows the power of the Bay as a unifying force that can drive positive changes for our communities.”
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