South West Tourism (SWT) will cease to exist from early next year following the closure of the Regional Development Agency (RDA) which supported it officials have confirmed.
The body – which promoted tourism in the south-west of England – was wholly dependent on the regional body for funding.
South-west England is home to some of the country’s most popular attractions, including the Eden Project
However, following government cuts designed to address the spiralling UK budget deficit, the South West RDA will hand over its roll to a new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) by March 2012 at the latest.
Following the announcement SWT moved to reassure local businesses support would remain in place.
“The board of SWT are working with industry partners and stakeholders to consider transition from April 2011 onwards to ensure that there remains a focus on what is critical to businesses in the South West, both now and in the future,” explained chairman Alistair Handyside.
“It is our absolute priority that we work in partnership with industry groups, destinations and key stakeholders to scope the future. There is still the need for leadership, focus and support for industry and stakeholders at local and sub regional at all levels.”
South West Tourism represents the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wilshire, including the popular destinations of Bath, Bournemouth, Newquay and Bristol.