About 100 tourism businesses turned out in force for Visit County Durham’s annual autumn conference, held at Durham County Cricket Club yesterday.
The ‘Made in Durham’ conference and networking event brought together a variety of local food and drink producers, artists, crafters and a broad range of delegates representing tourism businesses across the county, including industry experts, business owners and operators, destination managers and visitor services and information providers.
Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham, welcomed delegates to the conference which this year explored how collaborations between locally-based creators of products and services and those trading in the tourism sector can be mutually beneficial by enhancing the appeal of Durham as a great place to visit.
Attendees then heard from a number of industry experts, including Jane Shaw from Durham Creatives who spoke about ‘Made in Durham’ opportunities and how businesses have benefited from using locally-sourced products; Dinah Jackson, of North East Local Enterprise Partnership, and Kirsten Young, of the Rural Payments Agency discussed the funding opportunities available for local businesses; a panel of business people took questions on how they have been successful in using and creating platforms for distribution of local produce, comprising Keith Gill, Durham Food Hub manager, Allison Raper, of Teesdale Cheesemakers, who has just won the NatWest Best New Business Award at the North East Business Woman of the Year Awards, and Rhiannon Hiles of Beamish Museum , who all gave overviews on how they both use and produce local products.
In keeping with the Made in Durham theme, guests tucked in to a locally-sourced lunch buffet which included produce from Broom House Farm, Screaming Chimp Chilli Sauce, Teesdale Cheesemakers and Sweethart Bakery.
Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “It was great to see such a fantastic turn-out of delegates at our conference, which is an indication of the commitment of Durham’s businesses to explore how using locally-sourced produce and products strengthens our appeal and creates a unique Durham experience for our visitors.”
Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham, said: “As ever, the conference was a wonderful opportunity to bring together Durham businesses involved in supplying and producing local produce and to hear from our partners and industry experts. Platforms like this help to give everyone a voice and are fantastically useful for networking.”
Pictured: Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, and Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham, with a platter of locally-produced goods at the tourism body’s ‘Made in Durham’ autumn conference at Durham County Cricket Club.
Katharine Capocci T: 03000 261223
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About Visit County Durham
Published: 03, November, 2017
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