Visit Peak District backs Accessible Derbyshire

1st Jan 2016

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PEAK TOURIST BOARD TO BACK

ACCESSIBLE DERBYSHIRE

Official tourist board Visit Peak District & Derbyshire is expanding its leading role in supporting accessible tourism by announcing its support for one of Derbyshire’s key charities.

Accessible Derbyshire – which was set up to make life easier for people with disabilities, their families and carers – is to be the tourist board’s first-ever chosen charity throughout 2016.

The charity, set up by Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver, who between them have six children, three of whom have disabilities, will receive support thanks to a link on Visit Peak District & Derbyshire’s website to invite donations, a series of sponsored events organised by the tourist board team and efforts to encourage tourist board members to adopt it as their chosen cause.

This is the first time we have ever selected a charity to support, and we thought Accessible Derbyshire was a highly appropriate choice,” said Jo Dilley, Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire.

Not only have we worked with Gillian and Jane on a variety of projects in the past, we were recently only one of just seven destinations to secure a share in national tourist board VisitEngland’s ‘Access for All’ project, aimed at promoting England as a leading destination for accessible tourism.

Eight of our businesses took part, and are setting a shining example to their peers in making their facilities and services more accessible. We know Gillian and Jane are passionate about their cause, and we share their enthusiasm for improving access across the area for everyone, so we have decided to support their work by raising money for them throughout next year.”

Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver of Accessible Derbyshire added: “We are absolutely thrilled that Visit Peak District & Derbyshire has chosen us as its first-ever charity of the year.

As we both have children with severe disabilities, we understand at first hand the importance of a friendly and inclusive welcome. If we can all pull together, we can make Derbyshire an even more accessible destination, for the benefit of both visitors and the tourism industry.”

Peak District and Derbyshire businesses that took part in ‘Access for All’ earlier this year to maximise the potential of the so-called ‘Purple Pound’, now worth more than £12 billion to the national economy, were:

  • Chatsworth

  • Crich Tramway Village

  • East Lodge Hotel and Restaurant, Rowsley

  • High Peak Borough Council’s Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

  • Hoe Grange Holidays, Brassington

  • Peak Shopping Village, Rowsley

  • The Peak District National Park Authority’s Parsley Hay Cycle Hire near Buxton

  • Rivendale Caravan and Leisure Park, near Ashbourne

All eight had a site audit to review facilities and pinpoint areas that could be improved, classroom-based training co-designed by a consortium including The Accessible Training Company, plus on-line training to boost customer service. Each site also had a ‘mystery shop’ by people with a range of disabilities and were given tips to improve their accessibility statement and websites.

They also shared in a £100,000 print and on-line media and marketing campaign by VisitEngland in partnership with Express Newspapers throughout September, which aimed to raise awareness of accessible destinations and businesses across England.

VisitEngland research reveals that the overnight accessible tourism market is now worth £3 billion per annum to the English economy, with day visits boosting the figure to £12.1 billion. Over the past few years, overnight trips by disabled tourists and their companions have increased by 19 per cent, and their spending is up by a third.

For further details, please contact Janette Sykes, PR Manager, Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, on 07792 924839 or at janette.sykes@visitpeakdistrict.com.

 

 

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