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Growing leisure and tourism brings jobs boost for Kielder.

A GROWING leisure and tourism offering has created an employment boost in Northumberland delivered by Northumbrian Water as part of the growth of Kielder Water and Forest Park.

The water company has seen employment relating to its operational and leisure sites around Kielder Reservoir grow from 43 to 65 in three years as the range of activities available for visitors continues to grow.

Kielder Reservoir was opened by the Queen in 1982 as the focal point of a region-wide water supply network. However, as well as running the reservoir, Northumbrian Water now also operates Landal Kielder Waterside, one of the UK's leading tourist accommodation sites, at the heart of a flourishing park.

The company is also a partner in the Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust, which continues to develop activities and facilities in the wider local area for the benefit of visitors, wildlife and the local economy. The wider Trust area now supports 471 jobs, directly and indirectly, and the economic benefit to the area has increased from PS7.4m to more than PS25m in five years.

At Landal Kielder Waterside, a growing "Go Active" programme of events and activities, delivered by Northumbrian Water's award-winning Activities Team, has helped boost the appeal of the area, both for day and longer-stay visitors.

These range from Segway tours, archery and crossbows, to wildlife tracking and snorkelling, for adults, and junior activities including Pirates Adventure and Science Kids.

Guy Opperman, Hexham MP, who met some of the young people who work there on a visit to Kielder Reservoir, said: "Kielder Water and Forest Park has an incredible variety of reasons to visit. As well as being able to get away from technology and out into the stunning surroundings, it's the finest mountain biking destination in England, the country's largest Dark Skies Park with all the wonders that this brings, it hosts a wide range of activities on Northern Europe's largest man-made lake, and so much more.

"All of this has also contributed to the area economically, not least in terms of jobs. It was fantastic to meet some of those who have found employment with Northumbrian Water on a recent visit to the area, and to find out about what it has meant to their lives.

David Hall, Northumbrian Water's Head of Commercial Strategy and Transformation, said: "Kielder Water & Forest Park is a fantastic leisure resource that has grown to become one of the UK's best-loved tourist destinations, drawing people from near and far, either to stay or just spend a day. This has been great, in terms of jobs, creating employment for people who live in the area and also drawing talent from further afield.

"The appeal of the site has even allowed us to bring Landal to Kielder, adding the weight of one of Europe's leading holiday providers and making us an even bigger name in the tourism world. This has helped us go from strength to strength, supporting the local economy and the people who live here, which is fantastic."

Full information about what people can do on a visit to Landal Kielder Waterside is available at www.kielderwaterside.com.

CAPTION(S):

Northumbrian Water has invested in premium quality lodges at Landal Kielder Waterside

Activities on offer include Segway tours, archery and crossbows

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 21, 2019
Words:545
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