Firstly, you want to be sure that your local council is committed to the visitor economy and has a plan in place. Secondly, when you're applying for funds, trying to get planning permission or writing your business plan, it can be very helpful to 'cut and paste' a bit from their plans as this shows that you are very much in line with what they are doing.
Your local council will probably have a tourism strategy on their website. There is an over-arching Tourism Action Plan for the whole of Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland 2021-25 and you can find this in our research and reports section.
The Tourism Action Plan is a strategy for expanding tourism over the next five years. It was inspired by the government’s Tourism Sector Deal and its four key themes of Investment, Skills, Product Development and Marketing. The plan sets out a vision for developing Greater Lincolnshire as a nationally and internationally important tourism destination, its key focus on supporting and developing local businesses and encouraging visitor spend across the area.
As part of the various local authorities’ commitment to tourism, they may have money to spend on the sector. This could be in the form of grants to businesses, either their own money or money that they are administering on behalf of central government. Often the money is allocated on a first come first served basis so I’m afraid you need to act fast.
They may have money to invest in tourism, perhaps government money, such as the recent Towns Fund which has been allocated to Lincoln, Skegness, Mablethorpe, Boston, Grimsby and Scunthorpe. Or the money that the county council invested in Lincoln Castle and the North Sea Observatory which was from its own capital reserves. Many local authorities invest in nature reserves, parks, footpaths, car parks, cycle paths, heritage attractions and the public realm; all of which are used by our visitors.
So do we think you should engage with your local authority? Yes we do. This could be in a variety of ways:
- When local authorities consult on a plan, we’re always a bit disappointed when local people don’t tell us what they think. We probably don’t make life easy for ourselves – these plans are rarely riveting and the process tends to be tedious.
- You have local councillors who represent you on the district and on the county council. Do you know them? Do they know about your business?
- Do you know your tourism officer? Do they know about your business? They can advise of who you may need to speak to if they can’t solve your problem. The tourism officers in Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland meet every week and they share the issues and challenges that they are hearing about.
Focus your thoughts. If you’re being consulted or you’re talking to your local authority, it might help to narrow down your key wants or needs. These could be both the immediate and the blue sky aspirations, say staffing issues and the demand for off-road cycle paths.
These days local authorities spend a lot of time applying for funding, so things don’t happen as fast as we’d all like. But you do make their life easier if they can say “I have businesses on my patch who are crying out for this”. So we say – good to share, be constructive and positive….patient too, I fear.
Local Authority Business Support
Boston Borough Council
City of Lincoln Council
East Lindsey District Council
North East Lincolnshire Council
North Kesteven District Council
North Lincolnshire Council
South Holland District Council
South Kesteven District Council
West Lindsey District Council
West Lindsey District Council Consultation and Engagement Strategy
West Lindsey District Council Consultation and Engagement Strategy.pdf
East Lindsey District Council Corporate Strategy 2020 to 2030
East Lindsey District Council Corporate Strategy 2020 to 2030. pdf