Cumbria Tourism plans £285k marketing campaign

Cumbria Tourism and train operator Northern will launch a campaign to restore confidence in public transport, following weeks of summer disruption caused by timetable changes, writes Angie Cronin.

The £285,000 marketing push is supported by Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), local MPs, South Lakeland District Council, Transport for the North and Community Rail Partnerships within the county.

It aims to attract people back to the Lakes Line and encourage more use of links to the Furness Line, the Cumbrian Coastal Line and mainline train services at Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme.

The Lakes Line links Windermere and Oxenholme and is a popular way for tourists to explore the region.

During the summer, the train service experienced severe disruption including being suspended for several weeks after new timetables were introduced on May 20.

Highlighting the wider network of buses and scheduled boat services will be additional key messages.

The campaign will include advertising at key regional railway stations, Manchester Airport and the London Underground, as well as on ITV Hub and Sky.

Cumbria Tourism will also be managing digital marketing through social media, alongside a PR campaign targeting national journalists and influencers.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said: “Local businesses took a massive hit over the summer due to the chaos on the railways. So the news that Northern has agreed to fund a marketing campaign is to be massively welcomed and will help us send out a loud and clear message that Cumbria is open for business.

“It was great to work with Cumbria Tourism’s managing director Gill Haigh over the past few months to secure this money – thank you to everyone at Cumbria Tourism, as well as politicians from across the county who helped us make the case.”