A Living, Working Landscape - Outcome 3.3

Outcome 3.3: There is sustained and economically-viable business growth in sectors which sensitively make use of the National Park’s special qualities.

Target – To strengthen and diversify the markets for businesses that relate to achieving National Park purposes; to grow the tourism market in and around the National Park; and retain, attract and develop new and traditional skills to meet the demand of enterprises and business growth in key sectors.

Performance – Acceptable

Trend – Improving

Impact –The easing of lockdown during 2020 saw an increase of new audiences. A survey of visitors in 2021 gave the National Park a net promotor score of 76%, almost all visitors would visit again in the future. The visitor season in 2021 saw a ‘bounce back’, but the visitor figure remains at the pre-pandemic level. Business in NNP remains dominated by agriculture and forestry and supporting land managers through the agricultural transition remains a priority area.

Key Points

  • We were part of a £1.2m bid with 8 other National Parks to Discover England, supporting the development and delivery of the English National Park Experience Collection. The project ran from 2018/19 to 2019/20. The second phase of the scheme saw all 10 of the English National Parks take part and provide experiences through a central platform.
  • Estimates for the Gross Value Add of The Sill demonstrates that with a build cost of approximately £8.7m and the subsequent increase in activities, retail, café and staffing the impact on the local economy is significant. (Over £1.5m GVA p/a).
  • The Sill has helped to drive an increasing number of visitors to the National Park with the building welcoming 546,000 over the past 5 years. This supports recovery by increasing number of local arts, crafts and food suppliers for retail and café.
  • An Economic Impact Assessment to gauge the contribution made to the regional visitor economy by dark sky tourism in and around the International Dark Sky Park, found that it was valued at £25 million p.a. in 2017 and supported 450 jobs.
  • More than 50% of National Park properties now have access to superfast broadband (>24Mb/s), this is a significant improvement from 2015 when the target was for 95% of residences to have speeds of just 2Mb/s.