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Royal Lancashire Society

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been granted by the North West Development Agency to the Royal Lancashire Society; and for what purpose. (120909)

Regional development agencies were given the strategic lead for tourism in the regions and responsibility for ensuring that appropriate delivery structures were in place in April 2003. Delivery responsibility was devolved to regional tourist boards which were funded by regional development agencies.

The North West Development Agency (NWDA) has not given any direct funding to the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society. However, the NWDA did provide £1,255,000 to the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (LBTB) for the year 2006-07. From this, the tourist board granted £3,000 towards the staging of the 2006 Royal Lancashire show, on the grounds that the show would serve to raise the profile of the LBTB and the Lancashire rural tourism initiative. The NWDA’'s strategy for tourism in England's north-west identifies the show as one of a number of events of national and international significance that take place across the region. The show has also been identified for support in the Lancashire and Blackpool visitor economy strategy 2006 - 2016, because of its potential for further development of the visitor economy.

Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board has delegated authority to invest in those projects which it believes will raise its profile. The Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society agreed to publicise Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board by promoting their logo and mentioning the tourist board in press releases.

In addition, an undergraduate has been placed with the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society for nine months (until July 2007) to assist with the marketing of the 2007 show. This post is being jointly funded through the Lancashire rural tourism initiative, which is also supported by the NWDA, and Lancashire County Developments Limited.