A brand new board dedicated to promoting and supporting the visitor economy sector has been assembled by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Twelve leaders from the worlds of tourism, hospitality, leisure, arts and culture, education, skills and heritage came together yesterday (21st September) for the first meeting of the LEP’s new Visitor Economy Board.

In line with the LEP’s own rules the board must be reconstituted with new members every three years.

Before Covid-19 the visitor economy was estimated to be worth over £2.39bn to Greater Lincolnshire, and it supported at least 30,000 full time jobs.

The Visitor Economy Board was created before the pandemic but its top priority now is to support the sector and help it to recover to pre-Covid levels.

The new Chair is Nicky Van Der Drift, Chief Executive Officer of the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln, while the new Vice Chair is Jo Hardy, Business Operations Manager for Hardy’s Farm Ltd which owns Hardy’s Animal Farm in Skegness.

“The last two years have proved to be incredibly challenging for our sector and issues such as recruitment and supply will continue to test the industry,” said Nicky.

“However, we have seen many in the sector respond with agility and creativity, and this gives us hope for the future.

“Our priorities are the challenges in recruitment, skills and careers in the sector in Greater Lincolnshire, the opportunities offered by extending the season, and new areas of collaboration at a Greater Lincolnshire level in areas such as business tourism and green tourism.

“I am delighted that we have been able to put together a board from across the region and sector areas who are enthusiastic and committed to making Lincolnshire’s visitor economy be the best that it can be.”

The other members who make up the Visitor Economy Board are:

  • Emma Brealey – Petwood Hotel
  • Paul Learoyd – Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
  • Sukhy Johal – University of Lincoln
  • Paul Robinson – Grimsby Institute
  • Alex Saul – Butlins
  • Vince Weaver – EBB & FLO Living
  • Charlotte Bennett – Healing Manor Hotel
  • Emma Lowe – Stagecoach East Midlands
  • Emma Olivier-Townrow –New Theatre Royal Lincoln
  • Kimberley Vickers – Lincoln Castle