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Big plans for Yorkshire and Leeds

TV’s top quiz show, the enduring popularity of The Railway Children, the world class Chelsea Flower Show and the region’s top golf courses are all being harnessed as part of ambitious plans to make Yorkshire the UK’s top tourist destination.

Regional tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire has unveiled ambitious plans before an audience of 1,500 people at its Y 10 conference in Harrogate with a series of major announcements which aim to raise Yorkshire’s profile to another level and attract more visitors.

Among the plans outlined by Gary Verity, Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, were:

  • Support for a production of The Railway Children at Waterloo Station in London, using real steam trains in the show. An area of exhibition space at the entrance will also showcase the whole of Yorkshire, enticing Londoners and tourists in the capital to visit. The show will run from July 4 to the end of September 2010.

  • Following the success of the television series The Lakes, Welcome to Yorkshire is working on a brand new television series, The Dales. The series is in the pipeline to be on television next year.

  • After sponsoring hit television drama Heartbeat, Welcome to Yorkshire will this year be sponsoring one of the biggest shows on television, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

  • Yorkshire will have its very own garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The Yorkshire Garden has been named ‘Welcome to Yorkshire Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Garden’ and will use edible themes to highlight the diversity of the region’s food offering.
    The famous show will also be used to launch the new Yorkshire Gardens Campaign which will highlight beautiful gardens throughout the region which people can visit. For anyone who can’t make Chelsea, there will be another opportunity to see the Yorkshire Garden at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show in July.

  • Following on from the successful sponsorship of The Ashes and Welcome to Yorkishire’s headline sponsorship of the 2010 Ebor Festival, Y 10 saw the launch of the Welcome to Yorkshire Golf campaign. The aim of which is to actively promote golf breaks in Yorkshire to attract a national and international audience.

  • The launch of10 Northern Rail Welcome to Yorkshire branded trains which will travel within and out of the region – including Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

  • The Scarborough Cricket Festival will be renamed ‘The Welcome to Yorkshire Scarborough Cricket Festival’.

  • A new Leeds sightseeing bus and boat will enable visitors to explore more of the city. The open top double-decker Leeds City Sightseeing Bus starts in May and will take in the major visitor attractions around the city. The Leeds City Cruiser is a new purpose built boat which will help visitors explore the historic waterways of Leeds.

  • New Dragon’s Den style funding grants for new product development projects.

Leeds has always been at the heart of Yorkshire, and it now seems it will get the tourism it deserves as a fantastic, vibrant city.

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