Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Tourism: Northamptonshire

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 3rd March 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Conservative, Corby 9:30 am, 3rd March 2016

What recent steps he has taken to support tourism in Northamptonshire.

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Our five-point plan for tourism makes clear the Government’s support for the tourism industry. That includes a commitment to encourage tourists to explore the country beyond London. I am delighted that we have secured the £40 million Discover England fund. That competitive fund will encourage public and private sector partners across the country to come together and improve our English tourism offer.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Conservative, Corby

I thank the Minister for that answer, but what help is being provided to owners of historic homes, such as Rockingham Castle in my constituency, not only to conserve that important historic home and those around the country but to boost local tourism?

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

My hon. Friend is well known as a real champion for his constituency and for Northamptonshire, and I commend him for that. I recognise the importance of privately owned heritage such as Rockingham Castle in supporting tourism. I am pleased to say that historic houses can apply for Heritage Lottery funding of up to £100,000 on projects that are a public benefit. Sites on

Historic England’s heritage at risk register can apply for funding from Historic England.

[

Interruption.

]

It is very important for Maria Eagle to know the facts.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

Mr Speaker, before you reprimand me, may I remind the House that John Clare was a Northamptonshire peasant poet? The John Clare Trust has opened his wonderful cottage to visitors and tourists, and the Minister would be welcome to pay an official visit at any time. Will he also tell the world that the trust supports the Every Child’s Right to the Countryside campaign to get kids out into the country and learning?

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The hon. Gentleman makes a powerful point. I endorse his comments and I look forward to visiting the area.

Photo of Mark Pawsey Mark Pawsey Conservative, Rugby

Northamptonshire and Rugby share a heritage in leather products: in Northamptonshire it is footwear and in Rugby it is balls for the game that bears the town’s name. The town saw 50,000 visitors during the Rugby world cup, which established an interest in sport tourism. Does my right hon. Friend agree that now would be a good time to develop a permanent rugby-themed visitor attraction in the town? When we get that attraction, I will invite him to come along and visit.

Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

I commend my hon. Friend’s hard work in ensuring there were visitors to the birthplace of rugby during the Rugby world cup. I am interested in his proposition. I look forward to seeing what progress can be made and to visiting his area.