A Valued Asset - Outcome 5.1

Outcome 5.1: The National Park is widely recognised for its environmental, social and economic contribution, particularly to Northeast England.

Target – To optimise opportunities for the National Park to contribute to the social and economic regeneration of Northumberland and the wider region; and to sustain its natural, cultural, social and economic infrastructure as a local and regional asset.

Performance – Good

Trend – Improving

Impact – Environmental programmes aimed at making space for nature and landscape restoration are at the forefront of national improvements and exemplified by the launch of the Farming in Protected Landscapes grant scheme, Cheviot Peat Project, Natural Capital Accounts and Carbon Footprint Baseline. Our work with partners to develop digital communication and data collection continue at pace. Our social contribution is being supported by our engagement team as illustrated by Aim 1.

Key Points

  • Tourism contributed £78m to businesses in the National Park from 1.27m visitors in 2021 according to the most recent STEAM[1]
  • The Farming In Protected Landscapes scheme was launched in 2021 and supports a range of initiatives to address nature recovery, climate action and public access.
  • Annually, over £4.4 million in agri-environmental payments are granted to maintain and improve traditional upland farming practices in the National Park as part of approved stewardship schemes.
  • We maintain key partnerships including the boards of the Northeast Cultural Venues and Northumberland Culture Network and are actively engaged with the development of the Destination Management Plan for Northumberland 2022 – 2032.
  • We have been working with JET, Chrysalis Dementia Support and Black Nature in Residence to provide target opportunities for people to visit and enjoy the National Park.
  • The Borderlands growth deal which has a natural capital theme within it.
  • A new ‘Rural Investment Plan’ for Northumberland has been approved in principle by the North of Tyne Combined Authority. This could see £6m investment in a ‘stewardship and growth’ approach to economic regeneration through stewardship of natural and cultural assets in rural Northumberland, levering significant additional investment.

[1] STEAM Model is based on the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model, used by organisations nationally.