Supporting thriving towns and tourism

Cllr Sarah Courtney outside Halifax Town Hall

A refreshed plan to support and develop Calderdale’s tourism offer, while preserving the qualities that make the borough special, is being discussed by the Council’s Cabinet on Monday 3 June 2024.

Calderdale is a place that stands out for its breathtaking natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The borough’s bustling towns and picturesque rural villages form part of a truly welcoming destination, not just to those that visit, but also to the people that live here. 

In 2022, tourism was worth £430 million to Calderdale’s economy, a 9% increase since 2019. Around 8.2 million visitors made day and overnight trips to Calderdale and around £335 million of the money tourists spent in the area directly benefited local businesses. This income supported 9000 jobs, an increase of 9% from 2019.

To ensure that the borough’s growing tourism offer can continue to go from strength to strength, the Calderdale Visitor Economy Strategy has been refreshed, setting out the priorities and actions for the tourism sector over next five years.

The primary aim of the new Visitor Economy Strategy for Calderdale is to generate more and longer trips to Calderdale, to benefit the local economy and support local employment opportunities.

The strategy also looks to ensure that Calderdale is a welcoming destination for all, increasing the profile of the borough for visitors, and also enhancing the quality of lifefor residents and preserving the communities and environment that make the borough so special.

As members of Calderdale’s Cabinet discuss the revised strategy, they will also reflect upon the progress made over the course of the previous five-year strategy, which ran from 2019-2024.

The refreshed strategy builds on the achievements and actions of the previous strategy, taking into account the challenges and changes which have occurred over the last five years and looking to the future.

The strategy has been developed with partners and acknowledges the many benefits of having closer working relationships with local organisations. This includes local tourism bodies, as well as regional and national partners, which will further help to grow the economy and support the development of skills.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Cllr Sarah Courtney, said:

“It’s fitting that we’re discussing our refreshed Visitor Economy Strategy as we celebrate our communities and distinctive culture with the year-long events and creative activities programme, CultureDale. It’s the perfect time to reflect on our recent successes and plan ahead to 2029. 

“Both the CultureDale programme and the new strategy recognise the importance of culture, heritage and arts to Calderdale’s visitor economy and how it can contribute to creating thriving towns and places for the benefit of both visitors and local businesses and residents.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, we’ve seen real growth in our visitor economy over the last five years. This is thanks in no small part to the popularity of filming in the borough, the local distinctiveness of each of our market towns, and the huge success of venues like The Piece Hall, which continues to attract visitors from far and wide to its extensive events programme.

“The refreshed strategy looks to promote and protect the qualities that make the borough special and how we can continue to build on the borough’s growing reputation as a destination not only for visitors, but also local people.”

The Visitor Economy Strategy 2024-2029 will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 3 June 2024 at Halifax Town Hall from 4pm. The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

The Visitor Economy Strategy supports the Council’s priority for thriving towns and places and demonstrates the key qualities of the Vision 2024 for the borough. Calderdale reached its 50th anniversary on 1 April 2024. This is the ultimate year for the Vision 2024 for Calderdale. Find out more about it here:

As part of 50th anniversary celebrations, Calderdale is hosting a Year of Culture, with a diverse programme of events and activities throughout 2024 and into 2025, catering to all ages and interests. From vibrant festivals and engaging workshops to captivating performances and insightful exhibitions, there is something for everyone to experience and enjoy. Find out more at link)    

To find out more about what Calderdale has to offer, go to link)

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