Tourism drive launched to boost city's economy

By Steve Carpenter Wednesday 28 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 11:02

A NEW drive to attract more tourists is to be launched.

Figures show around four million visit Coventry every year, boosting the local economy by around £351million and supporting just under 9,000 jobs.

Those numbers are expected to be much bigger this year thanks to Olympic football matches at the Ricoh.

But moves are being made to create a task force to improve how Coventry promotes its historical assets, not just regionally, but on a national and international scale.

It comes after historian Dr Jonathan Foyle, who features on Channel 4’s Time Team, gave a talk at the Herbert Art Gallery in which he believed plans to modernise the city disregarded the importance of Coventry Cathedral.

The cathedral's crumbling ruins were recently added to the English Heritage risk list.

Dr Foyle is chief executive of the World Monuments Fund in Britain which hopes to help restore the ruins and is currently involved in the restoration of medieval stained glass.

Coun Ed Ruane, who is leading calls for the task force to be set up, said: "I hope Coventry can show off and be proud of its historical importance," said Coun Ruane.

"New plans for the city centre focus on redeveloping the area to allow more space for shops and businesses, while little has been said or done regarding the city’s historical sites.

"It is important to display and promote Coventry’s heritage and not to just expand the retail aspect of the city."

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