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Last Updated: Monday, 12 December 2005, 15:30 GMT
1m to be cut from Lakes' budget
Lake District
Millions of visitors flock to the Lake District every year
Almost 1m is to be slashed from the budget of the organisation responsible for the Lake District National Park.

Job losses, fewer information centres, and salary cuts are some of the proposals from the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA).

The plans are being put out to public consultation after a crisis meeting was held last week.

The organisation said "difficult decisions" lay ahead if it was to save 10% of its annual budget by 2007.

The authority said it has informed trade union leaders of the proposals and the organisation's "serious budget shortfall."

Staff affected by the proposal have been attending briefings to hear exactly how the cost-saving measures will affect them.

'Difficult decisions

Money-saving options include not filling vacant posts, cutting spending on information centres by 320,000, making salary savings of 25,000 from the communications team and saving 15,000 from information and technology budgets.

LDNPA chairman David Thornton said: "We have to face the fact that we are faced with a very serious shortfall with our budgets.

"By 2007/8 we will be looking at saving 10% of our budget - nearly 1m.

"We are not alone in making difficult decisions about jobs and the services we provide. Since last October we have said we would be disinvesting from information centre services, so this should not come as a surprise."

Cumbria has 33 tourist information centres, which are run by 13 different operators, such as district councils, town councils and the national park authority.

Previous research by Cumbria Tourist Board showed the centres bring in more than 42m to the county every year from holiday bookings and tours.

Figures from 2004 show the county's centres handled more than four million inquiries from visitors - 91% of those in person.

Lakes info centres axed in cuts
09 Feb 05 |  Cumbria

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