Council funding to help renew hospitality and tourism accreditation scheme

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Funding from East Lindsey District Council will help create a revised accreditation scheme for the hospitality and tourism sector in the district.

The Skegness, East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association (SECWHA) has been granted £22,470 through the District Council’s Rural Development Fund which supports projects that create employment, develop new business and attract visitors to the area.

SECWHA will use the money towards a project to overhaul the current MARQUESS scheme which scores the quality of accommodation providers along the East Coast and the Wolds.

The funding will help create two new jobs, allow 80 per cent of accommodation providers in the area to be assessed and widen the scheme to other hospitality sectors.

SECWHA chairman, Nigel Tett, said: “Over the last ten years the accommodation sector within the hospitality industry in East Lincolnshire has made enormous strides in the quality of product on offer to customers and has maintained East Lincolnshire as one of the main holiday attractions in this country.

“This is due in no small part to the quality inspection and advisory service offered by the local MARQUESS scheme.

“East Lindsey District Council has agreed that a review of the scheme is needed.

“We are indebted therefore to ELDC for the Rural Development funding given to SECWHA to enable us to renew and build on the existing scheme which should take us forward into the next decade and keep the East Coast and Wolds at the top of areas visited in the country.”

The district council’s portfolio holder for Economic Regeneration, Cllr Craig Leyland, added: “In the current financial climate it is important that we continue to support our coastal and rural communities through what is for some a very difficult time.

“The Rural Development Fund offers the financial boost needed to enable these communities to help support themselves.

“We are therefore delighted to be funding SECWHA’s MARQUESS scheme which gives visitors to the area additional confidence in the quality of accommodation.

“We hope that by working hand in hand with local people, organisations and businesses we can help build on this scheme to provide a much needed boost to the local economy and extend the traditional tourist season – in turn supporting businesses and creating new year round jobs for local people.”

Although designed to support the district’s most rural and sparsely populated areas where economic activity is low, the scheme also supports projects in or near town centres and coastal resorts which provide opportunities to their surrounding rural populations.

Due to the number of applications the council has received, it says it is not able to accept any new applications until April 2014.