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Last Updated:  Sunday, 23 February, 2003, 10:17 GMT
Funding for Cumbrian farm tourism
Cumbria Tourist Board logo
Cumbria Tourist Board is supporting the initiative
Cumbrian farmers who run tourism businesses, or would like to, can now get additional financial support and guidance.

The Northwest Development Agency is offering more than 2.5m over four years.

In Cumbria, the tourism industry is proving particularly attractive, with open farms, bed and breakfasts, and farm shops all proving popular with visitors.

Cumbria Tourist Board is supporting the latest idea, which will create a North West Farm Tourism brand.

Ian Stephens, the board's director of operations, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to build a stronger rural economy by helping farm tourism to grow.

"The project will concentrate on key themes such as food and drink, activity tourism, eco-tourism, heritage and culture.

'Valuable funding'

"Research shows there is scope to develop excellent, innovative farm businesses."

Nancy Tweddell, Cumbria Farm Link Manager at Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency (CREA), said: "Increasingly, farmers are deriving income in a number of different ways.

"Existing farm tourism operators are continually striving to improve what they offer and, along with new entrants, are looking at novel ways of linking tourism to the environment and public access.

"The new tourism initiative offers valuable funding and help with marketing these added benefits."

The 2.68m will help with marketing and training, and, it is hoped will have a knock on effect on other rural businesses, such as pubs, tea-rooms and craft workshops.



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