The Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston MP visited Lincoln last week as part of his UK-wide road trip to support the reopening of the sector.

Visit Lincoln arranged his trip and invited tourism businesses to share their experiences about the impact of coronavirus.

"I have very fond memories of Lincoln and it was great to make new ones during my latest visit to my wonderful home city," said Mr Huddlestone.

"It was a privilege to visit Lincoln City FC, tour world-class heritage sites including the cathedral and castle, and also meet exceptional business owners who play such an important role in supporting tourism. We want people across the country to get out there and enjoy summer safely and Lincoln and Lincolnshire is an amazing place to do just that."

The visit was hosted by Charlotte Goy, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln, and the minister was introduced to key business leaders during the visit. He was also joined by Lincoln MP Karl McCartney.

“When we were planning the itinerary, we discovered that the minister had grown up in Lincolnshire and had attended school in North Hykeham”, said Charlotte.

“And during the trip it was clear to see that he was already very familiar with the city, and even shared some photos from the last few visits he’d made to Lincoln Castle with his family – which was great to see.

“It was at that moment I realised that we were hosting a minister who not only represented the sector in national Government, but who also had a deep-rooted interested in tourism and wanted to play an active role in its recovery.

“Along with our partners we were exceptionally proud to show Mr Huddleston around our beautiful city and demonstrate the way that Visit Lincoln can bring people together to talk about one of the region's most important sectors – tourism.

“As well as our recovery marketing we want to ensure that the right grass roots support is provided by Government to tourism businesses; and this was a unique opportunity for the minister to hear directly from the businesses that have been hardest hit."

During the visit Mr Huddleston met Lincoln Castle, Stokes Tea & Coffee and Redhill Farm butchers – adhering to the new COVID-secure measures each business has put in place.

While at Lincoln Castle he visited the Magna Carta vault and saw the 800 year old documents on display. He then joined the Cathedral’s stonemasons and carved some Lincolnshire limestone, before ending the day in the new Dean’s Garden, part of Lincoln Cathedral’s £16m HLF Cathedral Connected project, with tourism businesses and representatives who were invited for a round table discussion.

LEP Chief Executive Ruth Carver Chief Executive said: "Hospitality, leisure and tourism are an integral and valuable part of our way of life in Greater Lincolnshire, and one of the LEP's priority sectors. So to welcome Nigel Huddleston, a Lincoln lad, to see at first hand what a terrific offer we have is a huge boost.

"We do however have to recognise the real challenges facing the sector, not only since March but in the months ahead as businesses start to reopen and begin trading.

"We have been working hard supporting local authorities with grants to the sector, and gathering intelligence from our visitor economy businesses and feeding into Government to influence guidance, policy and financial packages.

"With the support of Visit Lincoln, we are also implementing a restart plan, which helps to ensure that visitors and locals know that our places our open for safe business."