Andrew Allison: Promote tourism and don't waste our money on gimmicks

Back in February, I campaigned for lower car parking charges in Beverley. Traders were complaining high parking charges were spoiling the cafe culture in the town, as shoppers were thinking about getting back to their cars, rather than relaxing with some coffee and cake. Thankfully, some parking charges have been reduced. This is a way of attracting visitors and not rushing them out of the town as quickly as they came in.
Last week, the cost of the Beverley Town trail was revealed, thanks to a Freedom of Information request from the Hull Daily Mail. Here is a picture of one of the sculptures that some people say will attract visitors.

There are 39 sculptures, and they range in cost from £1,500 to £43,500. The estimated cost in 2002 was £110,000. The actual cost is £350,000. More than half of this has been met with public money.

Beverley is a beautiful town, attracting many visitors. Making the town look clean and tidy is the right thing to do. Expensive gimmicks are not needed, and although this trail was planned during the years of plenty, Visit Hull & East Yorkshire (VHEY) are planning to waste more of our cash, this time installing sculptures along the Wolds Way. From the Hull Daily Mail:

Regional tourist board Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) plans to install ten sculptures and six benches along the 79-mile route to attract tourists.

Despite being one of the country's most charming landscapes, the Wolds Way is the most under-walked national trail in England.

The "landmark" artworks will appear at locations including the Humber Bridge, Fridaythorpe, Millington and the dramatic Filey Brigg headland.

So far, £150,000 of funding has been secured from Leader, a European Community scheme managed by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

VHEY says it is hoping to secure money from the Arts Council England, local authorities, grant-giving trusts and private sponsorship.

It is a very beautiful part of Yorkshire, and once again doesn’t need any gimmicks. It’s needs better promotion. I want as many visitors as possible to experience what we have to offer. Promote what we have, and don’t waste our money in the process.


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