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Tourist attractions pull in pounds 1.7m for city coffers.

Tourist attractions including the Wheel of Birmingham and the Christmas German market helped generate an income of pounds 1.7 million for the city last year, writes Paul Dale.

The cash will be used by the Birmingham City Centre Partnership to provide environmental and security improvements in the central shopping area.

The Frankfurt market in Victoria Square and New Street, the largest of its kind outside Germany and Austria, attracted 1.5 million visitors in November and December including coach parties from Europe.

More than 50,000 visitors enjoyed the Centenary Square ice rink over the Christmas period, according to the BCCP annual report for 2005/06. A sponsorship deal with T-Mobile and Ice Events will ensure the rink returns to the city centre this year and next year.

Other money-raising initiatives included monthly farmers' markets, the German Winefest and craft markets.

The pounds 1.7 million income stream from tourism events is equivalent to 15 times the amount of money given to the BCCP by the city council.

The BCCP, a partnership of leading city centre businesses, is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Jenny Inglis, city centre director, said BCCP's achievement demonstrated the value of private and public sectors working together in partnership.

She added: "We have made significant improvements to city centre cleanliness,

introduced measures to improve safety and supported the development of an award-winning environment, evidenced by our success last summer in the Britain in Bloom finals."

Mrs Inglis said the partnership's priority this year would be to develop a retail Business Improvement District to complement the Broad Street BID.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 23, 2006
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