Tag Archives: LSTF

Red squirrels with wheels? It’s enough to make you go Twizy…

Already famous for being one of the few places in the UK where it’s possible to catch glimpse of a red squirrel, the Isle of Wight can promise a lot more sightings from Spring, 2016.

The only difference is that this particular colony has wheels, rather than big fluffy tails…and will have much more in common with the French postal service, than a cute species of squirrel.

New, “Red Squirrel Electric Bikes” are already available for hire on the Isle of Wight.

The same make and model of electric bike as used by the French postal service, they are fitted with a small battery-powered motor, giving a subtle power boost which makes riding into wind feel like a gentle breeze, and hills like a gentle slope.

In a nut shell, they will allow visitors to “Bicycle Island” the opportunity to cover much more ground and have more time exploring the hidden corners of the Isle of Wight than they would on a conventional bicycle.

The bikes offer a range of up to 60 miles on a single charge, and the front wheel motor provides three levels of assistance on speeds up to 15.5 mph, as well as a ‘walk assist’ mode which is useful for pushing the bike up steeper inclines.

With a lightweight aluminum frame and front suspension fork, the Red Squirrel Electric Bike comes fully equipped with a sprung comfort saddle, full mudguards to prevent clothes being affected by oil, lights, a useful rear pannier, and even a handlebar mounted USB charging point handy to boost your mobile phone or music player!  Braking is taken care of by powerful alloy V-brakes with a battery cut off for efficient stopping in all conditions.  There are charging locations across the Island.

The new colony of Red Squirrels are based at the Guildhall Visitor Information Centre in Newport, on the Isle of Wight, where a friendly team of Travel Ambassadors will always be on hand to offer ideas on places to go, and things to see.

Alternatively, details of several well-marked bicycle trails around the Island can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/bicycle-island.  And everyone hiring a bike will receive a Bicycle Island Isle of Wight Cycle Map, featuring 12 routes from a gentle 5-miles route to Sandown, to a 16-miles run out to Cowes.  A separate 66-miles ‘Taste the Island’ route is one of the other trails available to keener cyclists.

Once named in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 World Cycling Destinations, the Isle of Wight is a year round cyclist’s paradise – with over 500 miles of cycle and bridleways weaving their way through dramatic and contrasting Island landscapes.

The Peugeot EC03 200 bikes make light work of some of the Isle of Wight’s hilly terrain, and offer visitors a great new way of exploring the Island.  As the new website address says: you’d be “nuts not to”.

For further details, visit http://www.nutsnotto.co.uk.

Hire charges range from £20 per bike for one person for half a day, to the value-for-money £120 full day hire for four bikes.

Not satisfied with already introducing this eco-friendly means of touring the Island, the Isle of Wight also plans to launch a similar opportunity from the seat of an electric powered Renault Twizy, from March 15th.  Further details will be announced shortly.

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672

sue@visitwight.co.uk

 

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT TRAVEL AMBASSADOR NEEDS YOUR VOTE TO BECOME A SUPERSTAR!

A Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) Travel Ambassador needs your vote if he is to become a national award winner in the Visit England Tourism Superstar Awards 2016.

Aaron Orman is one of only eleven candidates from across the country to be nominated for the prestigious award which seeks to find those working within the local tourism industry who “go that extra mile” to ensure their customers receive a warm welcome and excellent service.

Tourism Superstar was launched in 2012 by VisitEngland and is supported by the Daily Mirror, who will host an online public vote from today, 15th January.   The awards form part of English Tourism Week (this year running from 5 to 13 March) and each finalist – from Cumbria to Cornwall – has made their case to the public in a short film now featured on the Mirror website, http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/british-breaks/holiday-hero-finalists-tourism-superstar-7092729

Aaron was nominated by LSTF Project Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, Zoe Stroud, for his can-do attitude and commitment to giving the warmest of welcomes to visitors to the Isle of Wight.

Zoe said: “Since the Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport first opened its doors in June 2015, Aaron has proved himself to be a hardworking, talented and dedicated individual. He now needs people across the Island to cast their vote and make him England’s Tourism Superstar.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “I’m delighted that Aaron has been shortlisted.   This is a huge credit to both him and the team at the Guildhall who do a wonderful job in helping visitors to get the best out of their holiday. I would urge everyone on the Island to get behind him by voting.”

To vote for Aaron, please go to http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/british-breaks/vote-now-visitengland-tourism-superstar-7164018    There will also be a news piece in print in tomorrow’s Mirror.

The winner will be announced during English Tourism Week and will be invited to accept their title at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence which is being held during English Tourism Week.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

An image of Aaron Orman is attached.

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

About VisitEngland
VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics. For corporate information see www.visitengland.org and for consumer information see www.visitengland.com.

About Tourism Superstar
This initiative provides destination management organisations with the opportunity to participate for free in a national campaign which guarantees national media coverage.  The campaign champions careers in tourism (for people of all ages) and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.  It importantly acknowledges that the industry is a people-facing, people-focused industry.

About English Tourism Week
English Tourism Week is led by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, and is an industry-wide initiative designed to shine a light on the importance of tourism in England. The industry as a whole is worth £106billion to the UK economy and supports 2.6 million jobs. Hundreds of tourism organisations and businesses will be putting on events to celebrate English Tourism Week this year. For more information about English Tourism Week see www.englishtourismweek.co.uk

 

 

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT SELLS NATIONAL EXPRESS TICKETS

Visit Isle of Wight has joined forces with National Express to sell tickets at its Visitor Centre, based at The Guildhall in Newport.

Funded by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and the IW Council through a successful grant application from central government, the Isle of Wight Visitor Information Centre first opened to the public in June this year.

Since then, a team of friendly Travel Ambassadors – who work both in the Guildhall and across the Island to inspire visitors to truly explore the Island – have welcomed thousands of visitors and local residents through the doors.

Brimming with leaflets about local attractions, maps and books, the tourist information centre also stocks a choice of high-quality souvenirs and a range of local produce.   In the New Year, the centre will also be offering tickets and bookings for events as well as activities like bike hire.

Developed as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project, the Travel Ambassadors play a vital role in encouraging visitors to use sustainable transport options during their stay on the Island.   The addition of coach ticket sales from the UK’s largest coach operator is seen as a natural extension to the broad range of ‘car-free” opportunities already offered by the Visitor Centre.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said:  “The Guildhall is a fixture of Newport and we are thrilled that people can now pop in and purchase their coach tickets from one of our professional travel ambassadors”.

Recently awarded Gold (first prize) in the Visitor Information Provider of the Year category at the Beautiful South Awards 2015, Visit Isle of Wight’s Newport Visitor Centre and Travel Ambassador Scheme are now entered into the VisitEngland Tourism Excellence Awards taking place during English Tourism Week in March 2016.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The image attached shows the VIOW Travel Ambassadors at the Visitor Centre, based at the Guildhall in Newport.

The Visitor Information Centre in Newport is open six days a week from Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 3.30pm (subject to change dependant on season and later on special event nights).

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

For more information about Tourism South East’s Beautiful South Awards: http://www.beautifulsouthawards.co.uk/

For more information about Visit England’s Tourism Excellence Awards: http://www.visitenglandawards.org/

 

17.12.15/SE

WARM ISLE OF WIGHT WELCOME WINS GOLD AWARD

Celebrations are in order at Visit Isle of Wight after their Gold (first prize) win at the Beautiful South Awards 2015 hosted by Tourism South East. The number one spot was awarded to Visit Isle of Wight’s ‘Isle of Wight Visitor Centre and Travel Ambassador Scheme’ based at Newport’s Guildhall in the Visitor Information Provider of the Year category.

David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight commented: “This is a truly remarkable result considering the Isle of Wight was without any visitor centres for a number of years. In 2013 VIOW started to create a private sector network of tourism points on the Island and the Visitor Centre was only opened 6 months ago. It’s a fantastic achievement”.

A key innovation of The Isle of Wight Visitor Centre are the Travel Ambassadors who work both in the centre and across the Isle of Wight to inspire visitors to truly explore the Island. Experts in car free travel, they promote using sustainable transport to really experience the Island.

Zoe Stroud, LSTF Visitor Project Manager, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Winning this award is positive proof that our travel ambassadors are doing a fantastic job. They are out and about greeting visitors with a warm welcome as well as supplying the information that visitors need to get the most out of their holiday on the Island”.

John Metcalfe, chief executive of the Isle of Wight Council, said: “I am very pleased to hear of Visit Isle of Wight’s success which is well deserved and builds on its strong track record of achievement. We are proud that through partnership working with the council, VIOW has been able to bring the Guildhall back into public use in such a positive and award-winning way. I’d like to extend my congratulations and thanks to the team at VIOW for all dedication and hard work that has been recognised by this award.”

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

-ENDS-

Image attached shows the Visit Isle of Wight Travel Ambassadors receiving their Gold award from Nigel Smith, Chief Executive, Tourism South East.

For more information about the Beautiful South Awards: http://www.beautifulsouthawards.co.uk/

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwightpro.com

Our Wightpress site brings you all the latest news and views from the Isle of Wight: http://visitwightpress.com/

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

 

 

Electric Isle – funding award for Isle of Wight bike scheme

Building on the established ‘Drive Less See More’ ethos, this week the Isle of Wight received another boost with the award of £70,000 for an innovative sustainable transport scheme that will bring 25 electric hire bikes to the Island by the end of 2015.

The Red Squirrel Bikes funding bid was put in by Zoe Stroud, LSTF Visitor Project Manager at Visit Isle of Wight. The new scheme aims to reduce the impact on the environment from visitors and residents alike, add value to the Isle of Wight’s tourism offer whilst benefiting the Isle of Wight economy.

Utilising existing bike path infrastructure, local partners will work together to deliver the scheme using hire points at the strategic locations of Newport, Ryde and Cowes.  By using these locations it is envisaged that the bikes will available to the widest possible audience, including visitors, residents and commuters. It is hoped that this will maximise the potential for mainland commuters to use electric bikes as their main mode of commuting and allow easy access to the excellent cycle routes that connect Isle of Wight towns.

Zoe Stroud LSTF Visitor Project Manager said “We are absolutely thrilled to have been successful with our bid. This is a forward thinking project that will build on existing infrastructure to deliver an innovative service to a new audience. This scheme, coupled the recently awarded electric car share and electric car hire initiatives goes a long way to establishing the Isle of Wight as a pioneer of sustainable travel initiatives.”

It is envisaged that Red Squirrel Bikes will not only provide a boost to the health of local businesses (bike users tend to stop at local shops and services more than car users) but also positively contribute to the physical and mental well-being of Island visitors and residents alike.

By working with partner organisations to launch a Bike Club to encourage commuting by bike it is hoped that there will be an increase in productivity as a result of a newly energised and healthy workforce. Electric bikes promote inclusivity, making cycling accessible to those who may not be physically fit enough to travel using conventional pedal cycles – especially on the notoriously hilly Isle of Wight terrain!

Kevin Smith CEO from the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce comments “This is a great scheme. Only through a range of initiatives like this can the Isle of Wight reduce its carbon emissions, encouraging a cleaner healthier environment. This is good for the environment and the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors alike. From an economic perspective, encouraging employees to adopt alternative travel to work schemes will also assist with increasing a company’s productivity, as a healthy workforce supports a healthy business.”

Simon Dabell, Chair of Visit Isle of Wight, added “I am delighted to see another innovative initiative on the Isle of Wight. The Island has to compete with many other UK visitor destinations and projects such as this scheme will help keep the Island as a leading tourism brand.”

 

 

Abi Fox, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, 07800 720001

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT LAUNCHES CLASSIC BUSES, BEER AND WALKS WEEKEND

Beer and bus lovers are invited to join the perfect “pub crawl” as the Isle of Wight branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and the IW Bus Museum join forces again to host the Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend.

The Isle of Wight Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend takes place on 17th and 18th October and offers visitors and local people the opportunity to ride on vintage buses, combined with a good walk through the Island’s autumn landscape – and a pint or two of real cask ale at the end of it.

Vintage buses visiting the Island and from the IW Bus Museum collection will operate a regular hop-on, hop-off service to transport visitors to and from pubs located right across the Island.  All bus journeys will operate free of charge, but people are encouraged to support the event by purchasing a weekend programme, which costs just £6 and includes special offers, timetables and details of all bus routes.

The newly expanded event is supported by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) as part of their “Drive Less” and “See More” initiative.   As the organisation tasked with increasing visitor numbers to the Island, VIOW is keen to encourage people to leave their car at the hotel and explore the Island’s spectacular scenery from the seat of a bus.

Zoe Stroud, LSTF Project Manager, said “We are delighted to be able to work with the organisers on the Island’s Classic Bus, Beer and Walks Weekend.

“Classic buses are a real incentive for people to get to and from the pubs easily and we hope that the facility encourages people to consider public transport as a viable option for other journeys”

Ben Bartram, Event Co-ordinator said:  “Last year’s event was a great success, and with the increase in routes from 5 to 8, and the increase in the number of pubs involved and vehicles operating, we hope to build on the success of last year’s event and help to maintain the Isle of Wight’s position on the map as a great destination for a weekend break at any time of year”

“The IW Bus Museum have moved from Newport to Ryde this year, but we are operating the event at both sites to give greater coverage of the Island and give people even more choice when planning their weekend”.

For more information about the Isle of Wight Classic Bus, Beer and Walks Weekend, please go to www.iwbeerandbuses.co.uk.    The programme costs £6 and is available to purchase from The Guildhall or order direct from the event website.

-ENDS-

 Notes to Editors:

The “drive less” and “see more” initiative was launched by Visit Isle of Wight in July 2015. Developed as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project, a newly-trained team of Travel Ambassadors has been appointed to welcome visitors and encourage them to consider using sustainable transport options during their stay on the Island.

Based at the new Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport – which forms part of VIOW’s new headquarters since it relocated to the heart of the Island last month – the four travel ambassadors are also be available at locations across the Island to help anyone who needs travel advice.   These include the ferry ports, attractions, key transport hubs and events both on and off the Island.

The Isle of Wight Bus Museum moved in early 2015 from Newport Quay to the old bus garage in Park Road, Ryde and has enjoyed good visitor numbers and positive feedback in their first season of operations there.

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwightpro.com

Our Wightpress site brings you all the latest news and views from the Isle of Wight: http://visitwightpress.com/

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

 

LOCAL SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT PROJECT FUNDS NEW VISITOR PROJECT MANAGER AT VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT

A new Visitor Project Manager who is being 100% funded by the Local Sustainable Transport (LSTF) project has been appointed by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) to undertake the next stage of the Government-funded campaign, designed to encourage travel behavioural change.

 

Zoe Stroud, ‎who previously worked for the IW Chamber of Commerce as their Group Marketing Manager, has joined the DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation) on a one-year contract to ensure co-ordination across the Visitor LSTF projects.

 

Specifically in relation to the “Drive Less See More” campaign, Zoe is developing a team of eco savvy travel ambassadors, who will be helping holiday-makers to enjoy the Island without the need to use their cars.

 

The ambassadors will visit key tourist sites and will provide free information and special offers on some of the Island’s great car-free experiences, from riding an open-top “breezer” bus to hiring bicycles, or taking great countryside walks.

 

Working alongside Tom Ransom, VIOW’S “Bicycle Island” champion, Zoe’s other duties will include growing the walking and cycling festival economy and managing the other elements of Access to Visitor experiences.

 

Zoe said: “I am delighted to join Visit Isle of Wight in this new exciting role. I look forward to continuing working with businesses across the island and developing new partnerships.”

 

VIOW has worked with the Isle of Wight Council to successfully secure £230,000, a third year of LSTF funding – part of which was used to bring the Pearl Izumi event to the Isle of Wight earlier this month.

 

Some of this funding is also being used to employ Zoe who with her previous experience in the UK’s tourism industry, will bring much to the benefit of the scheme and the Island.

 

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Zoe has shown great strengths in her different roles and is ready to apply her great enthusiasm and passion for the Island in her new role.

 

“The success of last Thursday’s (14th May) Pearl Izumi Tour Series cycle race in Ryde further reinforces the roll-out of Bicycle Island and we welcome her support in building on existing sustainable travel projects as well as supporting new initiatives”.

 

ENDS

 

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

 

Notes to Editors

 

•             The attached image was taken at the Pearl Izumi Tour Series cycle race on Thursday, 14th May and shows (left to right) Zoe Stroud, Visitor Project Manager, David Thornton, CEO and Tom Ransom, Sustainable Transport Marketing Executive – Visit Isle of Wight Ltd.

 

Drive Less See More (DLSM) is the primary public facing brand developed by Visit Isle of Wight for the Isle of Wight Council (IWC) “Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism” project.

 

This project has been funded by IWC after securing £3.95 Million from the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). The project started on the 12 November 2012 and runs until October 2015.

 

VIOW has been engaged to deliver the “hearts and minds” marketing/promotion element of the overall bid. This strands primary brand is Drive Less See More. A secondary brand/work stream also carried out under the LSTF funding is Bicycle Island. This is a dedicated campaign to promote and develop the islands Cycle Tourism industry and increase the numbers of visitors on bikes.

 

What’s been happening so far?

 

In 2013/14 a number of marketing campaigns were developed by VIOW to support the LSTF bid targets. These included:

 

Branding and marketing for the LSTF funded coaster Dinosaur bus and promotional materials off island- Meridian TV adverts, leaflets and posters on SW Trains network-+£120K

Spring poster and landmark billboard “your next stop “campaign featuring how close the Island is from London on the train -£39K

Adverts in national magazines such as radio Times, Metro, Times Magazine, BBC Countryfile etc. +£100K

Development of Bicycle Island brand for Cycle Tourism including adverts and promotions EG 6 page feature in the Guardians “Cycling Breaks” magazine supplement-£10K and London tube coving adverts-£26K.  http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island

 

The next major element of the Visitor LSTF project will be the opening of a travel ambassador centre at a high-profile location on the Isle of Wight – to be announced shortly.

 

ISLE OF WIGHT TO HOST LEADING CYCLE RACE IN MAY 2015

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW), the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads are pleased to announce that after months of negotiation, they have been successful in their bid to host one of the stages of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series – one of the UK’s leading televised cycle races, bringing action and excitement to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series – put together by the same team behind the organisation and promotion of Tour of Britain – brings together the very best in British professional teams and high-profile, celebrity riders, competing on town and city centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.

The main, team-based race, which is open to 10 teams comprising of five professional cyclists, is a highly popular and competitive event. Registered entrants have the chance to ‘test their mettle’ around the circuit and against the clock. The team with the fastest lap times will be presented with winners’ medals on the professional podium!

Taking place at 10 venues around the UK in May and June, the star-studded sporting event will use a circular route around the town on Thursday, 14th May. Ryde town centre will be converted into a professional race circuit giving residents and visitors an adrenaline-fuelled glimpse of Britain’s top professional cyclists battling out in our streets.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Attracting high profile events like The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is only possible because we have Visit Isle of Wight, our own destination management organisation (DMO) building partnerships and opportunities.

“This single event should deliver approaching £750,000 of media value and visitor spend this year alone.

“Winning the bid to host the race on a Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday is a major coup for the Island as it provides an opportunity to build long weekend business in mid May.”

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, added: “It is very pleasing we have been able to secure this prestigious event to come to the Isle of Wight in such a wonderful location. The council recently secured nearly £1 million under the government’s second Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the money is being used to support local initiatives and projects such as ‘Bicycle Island’ to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use sustainable transport. Part of the LSTF grant can be used to support local events and we are delighted to be supporting such an important sporting occasion using some of the funding, because major sporting events such as the Pearl Izumi Tour are shown to inspire people take part in recreational cycling.

“Elsewhere the tour has attracted thousands of spectators and I am sure local residents will come along and support this event and join in the fun. It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the Island as a place where people want to live, work and visit.”

Alastair Grant, Commercial Director at Sweetspot, commented “We are excited to be bringing the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to Ryde and the Isle of Wight, which will be the first, not just for the Series, but also for one of SweetSpot’s event. We are sure that residents from across the Island will be excited by the chance to watch Britain’s fastest teams in action, and hope lots of fans travel with us to enjoy the race in a beautiful setting.”
The team-based, cycle race series, which attracts thousands of spectators, will be televised the following evening on sports channel ITV4, bringing action-packed and exciting team-based racing into living rooms across the UK.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is being funded by VIOW and LSTF – the project which aims to improve and promote the Island’s sustainable transport network – with support from Island Roads, Ryde Town Council, Ryde Business Association, Southern Vectis and ferry operators Wightlink and Red Funnel.

The staging of the event, which follows months of negotiation led by VIOW, will cost just over £90,000 – a joint investment of £27,250 by the DMO and partners, £45,000 from the LSTF fund and a cash equivalent of up to £20,000 by other partners including Island Roads.

Paul Herbert, Service Director at Island Roads said: “As an Island company passionate about improving the highways network for the benefit of all road users, we are delighted to be playing our part in supporting this high profile event which will bring both positive publicity and an economic boost to the Island.”

With a wide range of community activities and support events planned for the 14th May, plus the main Pearl Izumi Tour Series race at 7.00pm, there’ll be plenty to see and do for local residents and visiting spectators alike.
The race route and full schedule of events will be available by the beginning of April.

ENDS

For further information including interviews, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

Image attached (to announce The Pearl Izumi Tour Series being held in Ryde, Isle of Wight). Left to right; Paul Wyatt – Ryde Business Association, Cllr Jonathan Bacon, Leader, Isle of Wight Council, Lee Matthews, Recreation and Public Spaces Manager, Isle of Wight Council, Roi Milburn, Mayor of Ryde Town Council, Cllr Luisa Hillard, Isle of Wight Council’s Executive member for sustainability, environment and public realm, Paul Herbert – Service Director for Island Roads,David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, Tim Blackmore, Commercial Assistant, Southern Vectis. Front James Sumner (cyclist) TAV Cycles, Ryde

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series

The staging of the event, which follows months of negotiation led by VIOW, will cost just over £90,000 – a joint investment of £27,250 by the DMO and partners, £45,000 from the LSTF fund and a cash equivalent of up to £20,000 by other partners including Island Roads.

The event organisers, Sweetspot, believe the event will bring an economic impact of £447K to the Island (see below). The TV coverage on ITV4 is worth £250K, plus a print value of no less than £50K, which equates to an overall value of £750K in terms of economic impact and positive PR.

The full list of ten teams teams for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be announced at the Series launch on Thursday, 26th February, alongside the full calendar of venues for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series, the seventh season of the unique team-based cycle race Series, with the official launch of the Series at Madison’s IceBike trade show. For more information, visit www.tourseries.co.uk

SweetSpot are cycling specialists, currently organising a wide portfolio of events throughout the year. You can follow the links below to find out more about all of our world-class events.
http://www.sweetspotgroup.co.uk/events.php

SweetSpot Group are a sports events and marketing company specialising in the creation and execution of high-quality, annual sporting events. SweetSpot were behind the successful revival of the Tour of Britain, the UK’s largest professional cycle race, in 2004 after a five-year absence, which now forms a cornerstone of the British sporting calendar and is the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event.

Visit Isle of Wight
Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

NEWLY RESURFACED POPULAR PATH OFFICIALLY OPENED BY USERS

Nearly 20,000 trips have been recorded on a newly resurfaced shared-use path between Shanklin and Wroxall in the last three months.

The four kilometre route, which runs between Lower Hyde and Yarborough Road, has automatic counters installed at each end which record the number of trips on a daily basis.

The route has recently been fully resurfaced using funding from the Isle of Wight Council’s Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project, which is funded through the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

The route has had a new bitumen and gravel surface laid on top of a cement bound base. The gravel dressing provides a natural colour to the surface and is designed to be in keeping with the rural surroundings of the route, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Previously, the surface was prone to flooding which resulted in large mud patches. It is now suitable for many types of user, including families with pushchairs, wheelchair and mobility scooter users, cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

The route runs over council owned land and use was formally on a permissive basis, but as part of the project it has been designated as a bridleway, securing its future as a designated right of way.

The £400,000 scheme was carried out on behalf of the council by Island Roads.

Councillor Luisa Hillard, Executive member for sustainability, environment and public realm, said: “The Shanklin to Wroxall route is a very popular one and the newly resurfaced path is a fine example of the improvements the Isle of Wight is benefitting from under the LSTF scheme. The statistics showing the number of times people have used the path since June are very impressive.

“This is another example of the council’s commitment to providing quality shared routes across the Island. We are aiming to improve the standard of the walking and cycling infrastructure on the Island, not only as a benefit for local residents, but also as a means of encouraging more people to visit the Island and travel around by foot, cycle or on public transport”.

Ken Thomas, 87, from Shanklin had the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open the path and he was joined by numerous users including walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

He uses a mobility scooter to get around and added: “This path is a superb facility for people like me who rely on a mobility scooter. This is because on pavements you can get in the way of pedestrians whereas here I can come for three miles, have a wonderful day out and really enjoy myself.”

Visit Isle of Wight is currently marketing the Island as a top cycling destination, and the organisation’s sustainable transport marketing executive Tom Ransom said: “It is great to see the council investing in this popular shared use path.

“Improving facilities such as these helps supports tourism activities such as the Red Squirrel Trail. This has been tailored for cyclists and part of this follows this route between Shanklin and Wroxall. It is an important part of Visit Isle of Wight’s Bicycle Island cycle tourism offer and was recently featured in the Guardian newspaper as one of the country’s top family rides.”

The works were carried out in two phases, with track widening, drainage and vegetation clearance taking place in 2013. The resurfacing of the route was completed earlier this year. The route was officially opened on Monday 29 September.
END

Notes to Editors:

Please find attached a photo of the official opening on Monday 29 September, where representatives from many types of users of the path were in attendance. Please credit Isle of Wight Council if you use this photo.
Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636
Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk