Today Marketing Manchester has received confirmation of VisitEngland Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) status, joining 14 other DMOs, including neighbouring Cumbria Tourism, Marketing Liverpool, Visit Peak District, Liverpool City Region, and Marketing Cheshire.
The new national portfolio of strategic and high-performing LVEPs will support collaborative working locally and nationally on shared priorities and targets to grow the local visitor economy. The creation of LVEPs was part of the UK Government’s response to the recommendations of ‘The de Bois Review: an independent review of DMOs in England’, to reshape destination management across England, reducing fragmentation and bringing coherence to its DMO landscape.
Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester, said: “As the official agency charged with promoting Greater Manchester nationally and internationally as a place to visit, invest, meet, and study for over 25 years, the work that we undertake is essential for raising not only the profile of the city-region itself, but also for Manchester as the gateway to the north of England, and for overall global perceptions of UK cities.
“Our organisation incorporates the official tourist board for Greater Manchester, as well as the Manchester Convention Bureau, whilst also delivering promotion focused on priority business sectors and campaigns including digital, innovation, and green.
“I am therefore delighted that Marketing Manchester has been accredited as the LVEP for our city-region and look forward to continuing our close partnership with VisitEngland to support collaborative working locally and nationally on shared priorities to grow Greater Manchester’s visitor economy.”
Andrew Stokes, VisitEngland Director, added: “VisitEngland is delighted to welcome the new LVEPs onto the programme, who will play a central role in transforming the visitor economy in England in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way. Ensuring we have the right national and local infrastructure in place to grow our visitor economy will ensure England continues to be a compelling destination, for both domestic and international visitors, for years to come.”
“We look forward to working in collaboration with the LVEPs, providing ongoing support including a team of dedicated VisitEngland regional development leads. LVEPs will also have access to resources and guidance from VisitBritain/VisitEngland in areas including product distribution, business support, bidding for funding and marketing.”
VisitEngland will work closely with LVEPs during the set-up process and beyond, with ongoing support from a team of five new Regional Development Leads. As well as a nationally recognised official status, LVEPs will also be able to access expert advice, dedicated toolkits and training programmes, targeting their needs, from VisitBritain/VisitEngland in areas ranging from distribution, accessibility and sustainability to business support and marketing. An important strand of support will be highlighting available Government funding streams as well as developing and providing a ‘toolkit’ to help LVEPs with bids to those streams.
VisitEngland welcomed the first three LVEPs, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Visit County Durham and Visit Northumberland, onto the programme earlier this year. They form the pilot Destination Development Partnership (DDP) in the North East of England, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, first announced by the UK Government in November 2022. The pilot is a valuable opportunity to prove the DDP concept and the impact the model can have on growing the visitor economy, strengthening the case for future funding.
VisitEngland has worked in close consultation with DMOs to develop the LVEP programme, holding a series of roundtables across England in autumn 2022 with more than 100 participants.
For more information about the LVEP programme, please click here.