Project launched to help tourism businesses in Yorkshire Dales

A boy meets piglet at The Wensleydale Experience. Photo: Rebecca Munds.

Tourism businesses in the Yorkshire Dales are to be offered help to recover from the impact of Coronavirus restrictions during a one-year project supported by the national park authority’s sustainable development fund (SDF).

Sustainable and Successful Yorkshire Dales, led by consultant Susan Briggs of The Tourism Network, will create a series of workshops and business support and PR materials.

The objective is to support at least 50 local businesses across the national park, creating at least 30 new products and experiences and making them available online.

The SDF has contributed £5,760 to the project.

It is one of a dozen initiatives to have been awarded cash since the SDF re-opened in June following a short closure owing to the epidemic.

Grants have been awarded, for example, to The Home Farmer in Richmondshire; Dent Primary School in South Lakeland; and to two documentary film makers who are developing a fly-on-the-wall series of films across the Dales.

Susan Briggs said the project would help tourism businesses plan for recovery.

“Our aim is to kick start activity in the tourism sector both by helping businesses improve their marketing right now, and by helping them create new experiences and ideas to attract more higher-spending, longer-staying visitors in the future.

“We’re really excited about this project and already have 23 businesses on board. If you run a tourism business and would like to be part of this please email

Tim Durham, site manager of the Wensleydale Experience in Swinithwaite, and member of The Tourism Network steering group, said: “During this unprecedented time, we and all other tourism and hospitality businesses are unsure what the future holds.

“This partnership project is a fantastic opportunity to bring businesses together with collaborative marketing and PR that is directed purely at the Dales.

“With support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, this gives us a great platform to amplify all the exciting experiences that the Dales has to offer.”

Member champion for sustainable development at the YDNPA, Carl Lis, said:  “The SDF is one of the key tools we have to support local communities as they continue to meet the challenges of the coronavirus epidemic.

“So many livelihoods in the national park depend on tourism and we will be working closely with The Tourism Network, through our small tourism support team, to make this project a success and give businesses a helping hand.

“An objective of the National Park Management Plan is to grow the value of tourism and we are determined to achieve it.”

The SDF has a budget for this financial year of £160,000.

Applications are invited from people with projects consonant with the national park authority’s two statutory purposes.

The SDF is open to individuals, businesses, community groups and voluntary sector bodies.

Contact the Sustainable Development Officer on