TOURISM bosses in Lancashire have welcomed news of Government funding to kickstart bringing people to the area.

Communities that depend on tourism will receive a major boost from a new £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP announced on Friday.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: "We very much welcome the news of sector specific grant support for tourism businesses in England, it is exactly the type of initiative that we have been calling for. We are awaiting further detail and are confident that the support delivery structures we have in Lancashire will help our tourism businesses to access whatever funds are available.

"However, my concern is that this does not go far enough. We may end up with just £200k for Lancashire, and with grants likely to be between £1k and £3k, up to £5k in exceptional circumstances, we may only be able to support a hundred or so businesses. We have many more businesses in much greater need than that.

"Lancashire alone attracts 68.74 million visitors annually, who contribute £4.41 billion to the local economy and help support almost 61 thousand jobs. We look forward to future announcements about a more comprehensive support package for the sector that will help to see them through the winter. "