Robert Largan, Member of Parliament for High Peak, has celebrated English Tourism Week (17-26 March 2023) during a visit to the Yorkshire Bridge Inn at Bamford.
Mr Largan MP pulled a pint at the award-winning High Peak pub and met with owner John Illingworth; Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire; and Sir Richard FitzHerbert, Chair of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire; to highlight the value of pubs to both visitors and local communities – and to discuss the ongoing challenges facing hospitality businesses.
The meeting marked the start of VisitEngland’s annual English Tourism Week campaign, which highlights the importance of the tourism industry to local economies and promotes the innovation, quality and range of products and services on offer to encourage more domestic breaks.
This year’s English Tourism Week campaign is using the strapline ‘amazing’ to celebrate the people, places, businesses, attractions, and experiences that make up England’s tourism sector.
During the meeting, Mr Largan MP discussed some of the biggest issues facing local pubs – including staffing shortages, high energy bills and rising food costs – whilst recognising the vital role the hospitality sector plays in the area’s wider tourism offer, worth £1.9 billion in 2021.
In addition, Mr Largan MP highlighted the work taking place locally to support small businesses such as the Yorkshire Bridge Inn, including the recently launched ‘High Peak’s Best Pub Competition’, which aims to boost local businesses by encouraging residents to vote for their favourite pub online throughout the spring.
Robert Largan, MP for High Peak, said: “Pubs up and down the country play a vital role not only in the economy but in our local towns and villages, supporting a sense of community and pride of place, and providing an integral part of our visitor offer.
“We are extremely lucky to have so many brilliant pubs in the High Peak and I have been a proud champion of them in Parliament, particularly at a time when the sector is facing so many challenges.
“That’s why I’m proud to raise awareness of the fantastic work they do during English Tourism Week. I encourage people to make the most of this week by getting out and showing their support for some of our brilliant local businesses.”
A family-run business for over 25 years, the Yorkshire Bridge Inn at Bamford offers 14 bedrooms, home-cooked food and local ales just a short distance from Ladybower Reservoir. As well as attracting hundreds of national and international visitors each year, the pub is a key employer with 34 staff, nearly all of whom are from nearby villages.
The Yorkshire Bridge Inn is a proud supporter of small local businesses and serves a variety of locally-brewed ales, regional gins and whiskies. The pub also has strong links to the local community through its sponsorship of local events, sports teams and initiatives, and is a regular meeting place for many local groups.
John Illingworth, owner of the Yorkshire Bridge Inn said: “We enjoyed welcoming Mr Largan MP to the Yorkshire Bridge Inn to find out more about what we do, how we do it and how important our offer is to the local economy.
“English Tourism Week was the perfect opportunity for him to see first-hand the value of pubs and the tourism they bring to the High Peak and the wider area. It was also great to be able to explain to our local MP some of the issues we face in operating a hospitality business during a difficult economic climate.”
Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire said: “As well as showcasing our quality tourism offer, English Tourism Week is a timely opportunity to highlight the importance of our sector and the challenges facing local businesses.
“This year’s campaign is all about celebrating the amazing people and businesses who work so hard to deliver memorable experiences to the thousands of visitors who come to the area each year, and our local pubs are a crucial part of our tourism offer.
“Pubs are hubs within our communities; as well as key local employers, they are attractions in their own right – helping to increase visitor spend, extend the tourism season and provide even more reasons for visitors to explore the Peak District and Derbyshire.”
Sir Richard FitzHerbert, Chair of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire and owner of Tissington Hall, said: “English Tourism Week provides an essential opportunity to celebrate the Peak District and Derbyshire’s world-class tourism offer, as well as the passionate people and talented local businesses who truly help our great destination stand out from the crowd.
“From stunning countryside and charming towns and villages to historic houses and outdoor experiences, we have a super product in the Peak District and Derbyshire and I encourage people to just get out there and enjoy walking, relaxing, eating and drinking with our wonderful hosts!”
During English Tourism Week, Visit Peak District & Derbyshire is encouraging visitors and residents to support local businesses through a series of special offers that are available online at www.visitpeakdistrict.com/english-tourism-week-2023.
Discounts are available for some of the area’s most popular visitor attractions, pubs, restaurants and places to stay, with great savings available on activities and experiences including family days out, bike hire, evening meals and overnight breaks.
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