Council sets out plans to boost Wolds tourism

Enjoy a walk in the Wolds EMN-180427-150227001
Enjoy a walk in the Wolds EMN-180427-150227001

An increased focus on how tourism can boost economic growth is set to be a key goal in the county council’s efforts to protect and improve the Lincolnshire Wolds.

The Wolds were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) 45 years ago and cover 216 square miles.

The County Council has a statutory duty to conserve the natural beauty of the Wolds and produces a five year management plan outlining its key objectives for the area.

Members of the council’s Executive considered the new plan, which will run up until 2023, at a meeting in Lincoln yesterday (Tuesday).

It is considered to be more of a ‘light steer’ rather than a significant departure from the existing plan, and has been supported by the Lincolnshire Wolds Joint Advisory Committee.

The plan was previously endorsed Lincolnshire County Council’s Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee in January this year, with councillors at the meeting stressing the need to attract more tourists to the area.

The latest data available shows that over 3.4 million people visited the Wolds in 2016, with tourism contributing £166.5 million to the local economy.

Working with local businesses and communities, the council hopes to encourage the development of cycle hire and bike loan schemes, walking routes and horse riding. The council also proposes further joint promotions under the Love Lincolnshire Wolds tourism partnership.

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economy and Place at LCC, said: “It is vital we plan for more visitors in the years ahead whilst planning to protect those things that make the area so attractive.”