Tasty ‘Made in Durham’ conference hailed a big success

Tasty ‘Made in Durham’ conference hailed a big success

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

E: Katharine.capocci@visitcountydurham.org


Notes to editors:


About Visit County Durham


  • Visit County Durham (VCD) is the Destination Management Organisation for County Durham working on behalf of businesses and public agencies. We came into being on 1 April 2006 and are a private, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a board of directors.
  • The company’s main funder is Durham County Council. The private sector also contributes financially to our work in return for benefits and activities that meet their needs.
  • Visit County Durham assists the county to fulfil its potential as one of North East England’s lead destinations, attracting visitors to the region from across the UK and from target overseas markets. Its objective is to ensure that the tourism sector performs to its maximum capacity and brings economic benefits to the county in the form of wealth and job creation. Its broad aims are to attract people to the area and to provide visitors with the best possible experience.



Published: 03, November, 2017

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