Rossendale: Borough council unveils Visitor Economy Strategy

A COMPREHENSIVE Visitor Economy Strategy has been drawn up to make Rossendale more attractive to day visitors and those wanting a staycation.

Since July, a series of online meetings have gathered the views of more than 60 businesses, organisations and community members on five key areas: marketing; outdoor, lifestyle; accommodation and creativity.

The findings of those meetings, along with other data, formed the basis of the strategy which was published on October 12, on the council website.

Council Leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said: “A great deal of thought and time has gone into the creation of this strategy and we now want people to read it and provide their feedback by completing an online survey.

“It offers an exciting view of how we can develop Rossendale to become a key visitor attraction with our beautiful scenery, host of interesting and unusual places to visit and attractions, superb outdoor activities, heritage, culture and so much more.

“Each town and village in Rossendale has its own unique offering and we want to capitalise on the increasing number of people opting for short stays and UK-based holidays.”

Marketing Lancashire found the top two reasons people said they visited Lancashire was for the outdoor experience and food and drink; both of which Rossendale has lots to offer, in variety and originality.

One of the key priorities is to develop a brand that will encompass the array of opportunities to attract people to visit and stay in Rossendale and to ensure that residents also have a wider understanding of what Rossendale has to offer.

Rossendale Holiday Cottages, based in Water, provides cottage and glamping accommodation in a picturesque location.

Director Jonny Wilson said: “It is important for Rossendale to have a Visitor Economy Strategy so that we understand the potential number of visitors and tourists to the Rossendale Valley.

“The strategy will provide information and market research into what visitors and tourists to the area require during their stay. I think Rossendale is mostly unexplored; we are still discovering existing and new attractions, businesses, walks, trails, culture, heritage etc. It’s fantastic.”

Valley at Work, which connects Rossendale businesses and encourages them to work with each other, was an intrinsic part of the fact-finding process that led up to the strategy creation and chair Rob Carder led one of the five groups.

He said: “Visitor economy is created by businesses providing attractions and places that reward and make people want to come and visit. The more businesses that come together and work with the public sector to make Rossendale a more attractive place, the better the rewards will be.

“I think the council has approached this in the right way, from the bottom up, starting with the businesses, organisations and communities and getting them involved in the creation of the document.”

It is expected the final document will be ready to launch early in the new year once all feedback from the public consultation has been considered.

To view and feedback on the strategy visit www.visitrossendale.com.

The Westmorland Gazette | North Lancs