To consider the report of the Director of City Development highlighting the success of the transition of VisitLeeds to the Council from April 2015. Also, the report gives an overview of the current approach together with the mid to long term forward plan and how this aligns to the core budget, brings in external funding whilst also exploiting cross boundary collaboration opportunities. Finally, the report seeks approval for conclusions and recommendations in implementing this continued approach and forward plan.
Further to Minute No. 135, 17th December 2015, the Director of City Development submitted a report highlighting the success of the transition of ‘VisitLeeds’ to the Council from April 2015. In addition, the report also provided an overview of the current approach together with the mid to long term forward plan and how this was aligned to the core budget, looked to bring in external funding, whilst also exploiting cross boundary collaboration opportunities. Finally, the report sought approval to continue the implementation of this approach.
The work being undertaken by the Visitor Economy and Inward Investment team was welcomed, and in response to a specific enquiry, the Board received information on the actions being taken to promote Leeds as a conferencing venue, which included details of the ‘Conferencing City Proposition’.
In promoting the city’s tourism offer within the context of the overall objective of maximising the economic benefits of tourism, emphasis was placed upon the potential of focussing promotions on Leeds and local residents, in addition to those from further afield, an area which was supported via a number of initiatives across Council directorates and partner organisations.
(a) That the strategic approach and forward plan for the Leeds Visitor Economy function, as set out in the submitted report (including the cross-boundary, partnership based approach aimed at attracting visitors in national and international markets) be approved, and that the detailed delivery of this be delegated to the Chief Officer of Economy and Regeneration, in consultation with the relevant Executive Member;
(b) That the approach to working with other destinations and ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ on joint promotional campaigns be approved, and that the focus on attracting visitors from outside Leeds City Region, who spend more and support more jobs than local visitors, be endorsed;
(c) That the approach to attracting additional funding by applying for and delivering external investment and commercial match funding, (including in-kind support), be approved, in order to ensure that Leeds is a lead destination and included where relevant, and when the function has the capacity to do so;
(d) That approval be given for VisitLeeds to continue horizon scanning for strategic developments and opportunities, new approaches to funding, mutually beneficial collaborative partnerships (including working more closely and effectively with Leeds City Region destination management organisations) and funding opportunities, and that such opportunities be responded to appropriately, in consultation with the Chief Officer of Economy and Regeneration;
(e) That the resolutions detailed above be exempted from the Call In process, for those reasons as detailed within paragraph 4.5.2 of the submitted report (detailed below).
(The Council’s Executive and Decision Making Procedure Rules state that a decision may be declared as being exempt from Call In by the decision taker if it is considered that any delay would seriously prejudice the Council’s, or the public’s interests. In line with resolution (e) above, the resolutions contained within this minute were exempted from the Call In process due to the time sensitivity of external funding applications the function is currently bidding for, in particular the ‘Discover England’ fund where if the function is successful, it would be awarded funds to commence delivery early June 2016).