Proposed Potash Mine Near Pickering Could Affect Tourism
7:26am 16th May 2013
The proposed potash mine near Pickering could drive tourists away. That's the worry of the North York Moors National Park Authority. They have commissioned a study on the impact it will have on the tourism economy of the park. They're currently consulting on the plans and will make a final decision at the beginning of July.
Chris France is the director of planning at the North York Moors National Park Authority. He explains what the study has found: "If those visitors act in the way they say they will, we're looking at something like a 15% reduction in visitor numbers annually to the national park over the 4 year construction period of the mine, and that equates to something like £40m pounds per year off that tourism economy, which is significant indeed."
He added: "It's one of many factors we've got to weigh up in making the decision on this. But in terms of what we're about as a National Park Authority, and the special qualities of the National Park and how that equates to money for people coming in and enjoying and spending it, it is significant."
Chris Fraser, CEO of Sirius Minerals comments: “The National Park’s Tourism Research Report shows a high level of support for the plans with the majority of those tourism businesses and visitors surveyed feeling that the project should be permitted, but only 9% of visitors questioned were aware of the York Potash project before being surveyed.
“This detailed survey does a good job of analysing the perceptions of people and businesses about the project and we are committed to working with the National Park and other tourism bodies, like Welcome to Yorkshire to assist in promoting the many positives of the Park and maximise the benefits that the project will deliver.
“We are already in detailed discussions with Welcome to Yorkshire about measures to help boost local tourism. We have already accepted a series of recommendations from Welcome to Yorkshire as to how we can help benefit tourism businesses in the area as part of the development. The leading regional tourism body has also published its own research which confirms considerable support for the project and shows that tourism businesses believe the weather and economy are far more important factors on their businesses.
“People want to come to an area with greater prosperity and better facilities and that’s exactly what the project will deliver. In full production the York Potash project can add over £1billion to the economy on an annual basis, with 1,000 jobs in the local economy and an annual contribution to the local economy of £55million during the construction phase and up to £940million at full production.”
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