A new project to promote the Waveney Valley as a unique visitor destination has now been launched.
Working in partnership, South Norfolk, Mid Suffolk and Waveney District Councils last week launched the Waveney Valley LEADER project which will help boost tourism in the area and improve the local economy. The project focuses on the Waveney Valley area incorporating the towns of Beccles, Bungay, Diss, Eye, Halesworth, Harleston and Loddon as well as the surrounding rural hinterlands around the River Waveney.
At an event held on Friday 18 May at the Earsham Wetland Centre, the project was officially launched, with representatives present from the three local authorities, businesses and local tourism organisations.
The project aims to develop initiatives that encourage the discovery of the Waveney Valley as a visitor destination, linking places of interest through their products, history or landscape as well as encouraging visitors to stay for longer and to increase their spend. Through a co-ordinated approach, the project aims to provide unique experiences for visitors such as heritage trails, river-based nature trails, food and drink weekend experiences and produce tours.
Funding of £28,000, secured by Waveney District Council from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), will help to further the project and has enabled the recruitment of a Project Development Coordinator to work with the recently established Local Tourism Action Group. Together they will improve the management of the Waveney Valley as a visitor destination.
Cllr Michael Ladd, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism at Waveney District Council said:
“Tourism is an essential part of the local economy and we want to maximise the opportunities for tourism within the Waveney Valley. By working with other local authorities, businesses and tourism groups, we can co-ordinate activities to raise the profile and encourage more visitors to this beautiful area.”
Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, said:
“This funding is excellent news for all of us who care about the Waveney Valley. Congratulations to the Waveney Valley Local Tourism Action Group, and I look forward to working with the new Waveney Valley Co-Ordinator to promote the highlights of the valley including Eye to more visitors.”
South Norfolk Council’s Deputy Leader Michael Edney said:
“South Norfolk is the gateway to the Waveney Valley and it’s important that we promote the many wonderful things that we have to offer, whether you’re here on holiday, just visiting for the day, or a local looking for something a little different. We have peaceful, un-spoilt countryside and historic market towns with their wide variety of specialty shops and fabulous places to eat and drink. Not just quaint pubs serving traditional fayre, but flavours from all around the world, from India to Japan. And, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we’ve got that covered too, from luxury hotels to great value campsites.”
Lisa Vincent, Project Development Coordinator said:
“I’m very excited to have been chosen to co-ordinate this project on behalf of the LTAG. I am passionate about both business and tourism within the region and look forward to working with you all to bring more visitors to the beautiful Waveney Valley.”
The project will work alongside nearby visitor destinations such as Norwich, The Suffolk Coast and The Broads.