Accessible Derbyshire joins the Visit England 'Think Tank'

Accessible Derbyshire joins the Visit England 'Think Tank'

Blackpool was the venue last week for Visit England's national conference on Accessible Tourism.   Entitled: 'Unlocking the Purple Pound' this free event was designed to help owners and managers improve their facilities and services for disabled people and others with accessibility needs – a market now worth £12.4 billion to England’s tourism industry.

Held In English Tourism Week on Wednesday 18th March 2015 at Sandastle Waterpark, Blackpool, the conference was aimed at those who recognised the business opportunities of good access for all but were unsure how best to approach it and who wanted to find simple, low-cost ways of improving the experience for all their visitors. The event was free event was aimed at tourism operators throughout England, from small B&Bs to large visitor attractions.

Attending the workshop were Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver from local charity Accessible Derbyshire. The pair delivered workshops sessions in the afternoon of the conference on 'the customer journey and how to improve it'. This interactive session enabled participants to develop practical ways to improve their accessibility for customers with access needs.

Gillian Scotford, co-founder of Accessible Derbyshire said, The conference was fantastic: it was enjoyable and informative as well as providing a rare chance to share thoughts and ideas with so many others in the industry. The workshop sessions in the afternoon worked extremely well and we had lots of great feedback. We would love anyone who is interested in taking part in a similar session locally to get in touch. Accessible Tourism is a very lucrative market and we want to help businesses increase their share."

The following day the pair were guests of Visit England at an 'invitation only' 'Think Tank' on accessible tourism for key strategic partners the aim of which was to explore innovative ideas to advance the development of accessible England.

The 'Think Tank' was attended by thought-leaders on accessible tourism from around the country and explored the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and barriers to accessible tourism in England.

Jane Carver, co-founder of Accessible Derbyshire said, "Gillian and I were really honoured to be invited to the session. It was a fantastic opportunity to contribute our ideas alongside other key partners in the accessible tourism sector and we can't wait to help take forward the ideas generated."

Ross Calladine, Head of Accessibility at Visit England commented, "The Think Tank was extremely productive and advanced the conversation and thinking around this important subject.”

Anyone interested in learning more about accessible tourism should email Gillian and Jane at


Accessible Derbyshire is a local, registered charity (no: 1155675) that was launched  in March 2014.  It's aim is to improve the lives of disabled people, their families and carers, living in or visiting Derbyshire and the Peak District. At its heart is 'one-stop' website showcasing the best in accessible leisure and tourism in the area:

The Big Push is a two-year initiative launched by Accessible Derbyshire aimed at making the Peak Park and Derbyshire the most accessible National Park and County in the country

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