West Lancashire Borough Council: Green Tourism Programme
The council has partnered with Green Business UK to give eligible businesses the opportunity to become internationally recognised by achieving the ‘Green Tourism Standard’. This is a fully funded opportunity for one year which enables businesses in the district to work towards this coveted status.
Having spent a lot of time supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic building a wider business support offer, the council was keen to support tourism and leisure businesses with rising costs, having been significantly affected by restrictions. The council’s efforts will help contribute to West Lancashire becoming a Green Tourism destination. This additional funding therefore opens up the opportunity where businesses could not have otherwise afforded to access it. The programme will support businesses to reduce their costs and achieve carbon neutrality, and will also assist them to:
- Save money by reducing their energy and water use.
- Demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, following their assessment and accreditation to the Green Tourism Standard and achieve the bronze, silver, or gold status.
- Promote their green business to visitors and to help make West Lancashire a destination in sustainable tourism.
Green Business UK will offer successful businesses discounted fees in years two and three, to continue their green journey and to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. To compliment the programme, the council is currently developing a Green Business Grant, and businesses who successfully achieve an accreditation will be invited to apply. The grant will help businesses implement their new greener ways of working.
In the short time the programme has been available to local businesses, 11 have signed up to date, with more local businesses expressing an interest. These businesses range from independent retailers, a micro glamping business, independent hoteliers, and the council’s two largest tourism attractions: Farmer Teds Adventure Farm, and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Martin Mere site.
Edge Hill University have also signed up across two areas of their campus, to include their conferencing facilities and sports centre, and are using the programme as a live project for students, to educate the next generation of business and environmental entrepreneurs!
Delivering this scheme has enabled the council to strengthen relations with its businesses, by helping to educate and prepare them to be more sustainable and environmentally aware within their own business. Positive outcomes see businesses working more with local suppliers to deliver services and not over stocking goods to reduce wastage.
A quote from one participating business owner, Derry from Secret Garden Glamping said, “By joining the Green Tourism programme, it has enabled me to look at where I can action small changes to make a bigger impact on the environment as well as save costs to my business, it’s a great initiative led by the council!”.