Today (9 July) marks two years since the Lake District was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. At a special anniversary event businesses, organisations and community representatives gathered to take stock of what this has meant for them and to get advice and inspiration on how to harness the benefits of operating in a World Heritage Site.
The event, which was attended by more than 50 guests, was held at the Lake District’s newest attraction, Windermere Jetty - Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories. This was a significant venue as the museum itself has benefitted from £3.29m funding supported by the World Heritage story.
Guests attended from across the Lake District, including from manufacturing and the arts, through to tourism and food and drink. They were treated to inspirational talks from organisations and businesses who are already seeing the benefits of World Heritage, including Windermere Lake Cruises, Langdale Leisure and the National Trust.
Nick Lancaster of Langdale Leisure and Chair of the Lake District Business Task Force welcomed the audience and encouraged them to look to the future. He said: “It’s great to hear that 20 per cent of international visitors last year said that World Heritage status had influenced their visit to the Lake District so it’s definitely benefited the local economy already, but there is more to be done. It’s now time to look to the future and be ambitious for our own organisations and businesses and for Lake District communities as a whole.” Alex McCoskrie, Engagement Officer, English Lake District World Heritage Site, was on hand to offer advice on the World Heritage brand which is a first step for organisations to embrace the business benefits. He said: “Last year we launched a flexible, free brand to enable businesses, organisations and communities to really embrace the World Heritage identity. We’re delighted with the brand uptake from businesses of all sizes. Spanning from farming, manufacturing and recruitment to the tourism sector. It’s a real stamp of authenticity for goods and services from the Lake District and is seen very positively by domestic and overseas customers.”
Key highlights of World Heritage success in the past year include:
Guests were given goody bags containing World Heritage branded products, along with ‘The Story So Far’ a review document charting the first two years of Lake District World Heritage status. Businesses and organisations are invited to use the free World Heritage Site brand toolkit at: lakesworldheritage.co.uk/toolkit