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Peak District National Park boosts local economy, says report

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 6 December 2006

6 December 2006

Peak District National Park boosts local economy, says report

The Peak District National Park isn’t just a great place to visit - it’s also a fantastic money-spinner for the local economy, according to a report due to be published next week (11 December).

It says that, as well as attracting millions of tourists every year, the National Park is a good place in which to run a business, with bosses saying much of their success is due to their location.

The report - Prosperity and Protection - was commissioned by the Council for National Parks (CNP) and aimed to investigate the economic benefits of the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

It was funded by the three National Park Authorities, Yorkshire Forward, Defra, Natural England, the Ramblers’ Association, the Nationwide Building Society and the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust. The report found that:

*£660 million was spent by visitors to the three National Parks

*The spend is likely to support 12,000 jobs in the region and the knock-on effects could therefore be responsible for almost £1 billion total output annually

*Compared to the Yorkshire & Humber region as a whole, the population of the National Parks has a higher economic activity rate, lower unemployment rate and a higher proportion of self-employed.

Peak District National Park Authority Chair Tony Hams said: The findings of this survey reinforce that National Parks are important assets not just for enjoyment, recreation and relaxation, but also for jobs and the economy.

Around one fifth of the Peak District National Park’s 1,400 sq km lies within the Yorkshire and Humber region, covering Kirklees, Barnsley, Sheffield and North East Derbyshire. However, the majority of the Peak District falls within the East Midlands region, and we are looking forward to the results of a similar study in those parts of the National Park outside Yorkshire.”

Launching the report in Harrogate today, Barry Dodd, Yorkshire Forward board member for business & innovation, said: Yorkshire Forward’s Regional Economic Strategy recognises the importance of high-quality environments in attracting employees, businesses and visitors. It sees a key role for National Park Authorities in promoting sustainable economic development in rural areas.

This study confirms the importance of our three beautiful National Parks for the prosperity of the region as a whole. Yorkshire Forward are pleased to have been partners in this project. We will look closely at the report’s recommendations to see how we can best support the Parks in future and use them to market the region.”

Welcoming the report, Landscape Minister Barry Gardiner said: This report should re-assure those who have suggested that the enormous pleasure our National Parks have given so many people has been at the expense of businesses within them. It shows that, on the contrary, National Parks help businesses to prosper, locally and regionally. This study has examined only part of the economic worth of the Parks and we will, as it recommends, look further at how the total value - social, environmental and economic - of such special places can be measured”.

Sir Martin Doughty, Natural England's Chair, said: National Parks are designated to safeguard natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and to help people understand and enjoy these special places.

This report shows that a healthy natural environment and sustainable development go hand in hand. The inspirational landscapes and outdoor recreation opportunities provided by our National Parks can truly benefit the people who live and work in them.”

A four-page summary of the report’s findings and the full report may be found on CNP’s web-site at www.cnp.org.uk

This is an archived press release

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