New board to promote and support visitor economy in Greater Lincolnshire assembles

A new board dedicated to promoting and supporting the visitor economy industry in Greater Lincolnshire has been assembled by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The new board with chairman Nicky Van Der Drift (front, centre) and vice chairman Jo Hardy, of Hardy’s Animal Farm, in Skegness, (front, left).

Twelve local leaders from the sector came together on Tuesday (September 21) for the first meeting of the partnership’s new Visitor Economy Board.

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

The new recruits come from the worlds of tourism, hospitality, leisure, arts and culture, education, skills and heritage.

New chairman Nicky Van Der Drift, chief executive officer of the International Bomber Command Centre, in Lincoln, said: “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.

“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.”

Joining Nicky as vice chairman is Jo Hardy, business operations manager for Hardy’s Farm Ltd, which owns Hardy’s Animal Farm in Skegness.

The other members 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, and Kimberley Vickers – Lincoln Castle.

Before Covid-19, the visitor economy was estimated to be worth more than £2.39bn to Greater Lincolnshire