Promoting the local visitor economy was top of the agenda when local MP, David Rutley, met with Andrew McCloy, Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, recently.
As a gateway town for the Peak District National Park, Macclesfield and its residents and businesses are well-situated to benefit from tourism derived from outdoor activities and our rich local heritage. There are already some 12 million visitors to the Peak District every year, many of whom currently enter the National Park through Macclesfield. At the meeting, David highlighted how Macclesfield's strong silk history enhances the town's cultural offer and presents further opportunities to attract more visitors, helping to grow the local economy and strengthen much-loved local heritage assets.
David and Cllr McCloy also reviewed early proposals for an innovative new 'Ecomusems' initiative for the Peak District, alongside local residents, Diane Hamilton and Amanda Martinez, who are developing this project. The aim of the Ecomuseum - a museum set in the landscape - would be to link up the gateway communities in the Cheshire Peak District, including Macclesfield, through a physical trail, which visitors would follow, signposting them to important or historic locations within the Peak District National Park. This 'string of pearls' of natural or man-made heritage destinations would help to tell the communities’ stories and promote both their unique local heritage and shared identities.
Speaking after the meeting, David said, "Continuing to expand the local visitor economy and capitalise on Macclesfield's position as a gateway town to the Peak District National Park is a vital aim, benefitting businesses in our area and helping to promote our town's rich heritage. I will continue to work with the National Park Authority to promote this important agenda. I was also pleased to learn more about the innovative Ecomuseums project and the contribution it could make to boosting tourism to our area. I look forward to helping take forward these positive initiatives."