I INTRODUCE myself as the owner of Foulridge Canal Cruises and chairman of Pendle Tourism Forum.
The forum was set up some time ago by the tourism officers. I have attended many meetings and passed on this information to our quarterly meetings. We have one of the largest attendances of any Lancashire Tourism Forum and I and the members felt tourism in Pendle was going forward better than ever before, the award-winning Discover Pendle Centre at Boundary Mill being the icing on the cake.
It is gratifying to see Boundary Mill’s car park full most days, showing a successful business in these dire times and knowing a percentage are being advised where else to spend their money in Pendle. One of the meetings I went to was at Manchester United FC hosted by Marketing Manchester. It was probably the best presentation I have seen for a long time.
It addressed the concern that the North West would not benefit from the Olympic Games. I will not bore you with statistics given at the meeting, but we do need to be in a position to capitalise on the vast numbers of visitors coming for the football matches held at Old Trafford and the residual tourism expected to be up over the next six years.
This year, we in Pendle commemorate the 400 year anniversary of Pendle Witches and the Titanic 100 years’ connection with the band leader Wallace Hartley.
In view of this, I am amazed it is even considered the Discover Pendle Centre is to be closed. I really feel most of the council members do not understand and appreciate how the tourism market works. Closing the centre, I feel will be false economy.
This facility is one of the best in the country, and closing it will lose a great opportunity to continue to develop tourism in Pendle.
I hope the council will look at this very carefully and try and see the bigger picture.