Camp site could be set up in Lancaster

Images of Lancashire Gardens''Williamson Park and Butterfly House
Images of Lancashire Gardens''Williamson Park and Butterfly House

A CARAVAN and camping site could be set up in Williamson Park if a new report on Lancaster’s heritage is implemented.

The Lancaster Cultural Heritage Strategy, which was endorsed by city councillors at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, suggests that Williamson Park should be commercialised.

It says this would bring in more visitors and enable the city to start “punching its weight” as a tourist destination.

The report, which was drawn up by Cheshire-based Blue Sail Consulting Ltd, argues that a £36m investment in tourism in Lancaster would pay for itself after 10 years and could create 66 new jobs in the same period, generating an extra £13.4m for the local economy.

The Lancaster district was visited by 4.8million people in 2008 and tourism is currently generating income of around £270m every year, supporting about 5,000 jobs or 10 per cent of the workforce.

However, a survey carried out for the consultants found that less than 20 per cent of people would consider a visit, or had visited Lancaster in the past, compared to 71 per cent for York.

The report backed up the 2006 findings of the Lancaster and Morecambe Vision Board, which said: “It is widely acknowledged that our heritage offering is at least as good as Chester or York but that we have been let down by under-investment and a lack of a coherent approach and message.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (07-07-11) for full story.