New North York Moors business network proves a hit

A NEW business group aimed at making the most of one of the region’s most spectacular landscapes is proving a major hit.

A total of 205 businesses have now signed up to the North York Moors National Park’s new business network, launched only weeks ago.

It aims to help tourism, creative, retail, and, food and drink businesses capitalise on their location in and around the National Park and the Howardian Hills – an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“This is a terrific result,” said the park’s head of promotion and tourism, Catriona McLees.

“ Businesses have told us that they want more networking opportunities, that they want to collaborate and find ways to use this beautiful location as a unique selling point.

“The network will help them do this – and it’s all completely free.”

The benefits of being part of the network include free invitations to workshops, marketing masterclasses and virtual events, which help businesses to use local distinctiveness as part of their marketing.

There are also regular project updates including links to other sources of support and useful information and free access to a forthcoming toolkit, copyright-free images, videos, and other support tools.

The network has been made possible by a European Union grant worth £36,000. The National Park Authority is matching the funding with £24,000 of cash and in-kind support Raising the profile of the North York Moors and promoting its local distinctiveness is a priority in the authority’s new management and business plans.

The main focus of the project is on product development, and bringing businesses together to create new ways to enjoy the North York Moors.

That includes developing new tours, packages and experiences such as linking accommodation with learning new skills with a local craftsperson.

Ms McLees added: “We'll also be developing collaborative marketing activities and other free/low cost resources. We're careful not to duplicate activities of other organisations but to add value where we can.”

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