More than 90 business and community leaders from Redcar and Cleveland met to discuss the importance of culture and tourism to the local economy.
The Redcar | Cleveland Ambassadors breakfast networking event at Redcar Race Course included talks from some of the region’s most influential leaders.
Frans Calje, PD Ports chief executive and chair of the Redcar | Cleveland place marketing project, opened the talks outlining the theme of the day: How culture, leisure and tourism can bring about positive change to the economy and the lives of local people.
Frans said: “When we develop and grow our businesses, we create jobs and disposable income which in turn increases demand for restaurants, shops, leisure activities and events. This feeds back into the economy, creating yet more jobs and wealth.
“We cannot underestimate the contribution of our region’s cultural and leisure offer to the economy.”
Following Frans were speakers from the region’s most valued events and attractions teams:
• Welcome to North Yorkshire’s David Shields spoke with passion about the extraordinary success of the Tour de Yorkshire and the community involvement which has made the cycle race known all over the world in just four short years
• Stella Hall, director of the Festival of Thrift, revealed the £800,000+ economic boost the festival delivers each year and the importance of including local people as the friendly faces that greet the visitors from all over the UK
• Redcar and Cleveland as the ‘gateway’ to the North Yorkshire Moors National Park was the theme of the park’s head of promotion and tourism Catriona McLees who also gave a sneak preview of next year’s 50th anniversary of the Cleveland Way walking route
As well as discussing the positive impact that leisure and culture brings to the region, the networking event was also an opportunity to encourage attendees to sign up to become Redcar | Cleveland Ambassadors.
Acting as the sales force for the borough, the Ambassadors will work collectively to ‘tell the story’ of the borough and its business-friendly assets such as the skilled workforce, industrial heritage, booming cultural sector and infrastructure. By working together to present a united message of Redcar and Cleveland to the world, the Ambassadors will play a key role in the economic future of the borough.
Local website and social media developers Itchy Robot outlined their commitment to becoming Ambassadors as commercial director Rebecca Lambton addressed the meeting, explaining smaller companies would also benefit from joining the free scheme as well as region’s major firms.
More than 30 attendees were inspired to become Ambassadors on the day.