- What the developers say
The developers say that Delabole wind “farm” in Cornwall was visited by 350,000 people in eight years.
This was true nearly 15 years ago.
But the visitor centre at Delabole went into administrative receivership in March 2003.
It is now closed owing to lack of interest.
You might also want to compare "350,000 over eight years" (i.e. 43,750 per year) with visitor figures for say, Barter Books in Alnwick (200,000 per year).
They might tell you about the “turbine tour” at Swaffham in Norfolk.
This tour is so unpopular that it only runs once a day and is closed at weekends.
Wind power station developers routinely claim that “there is no evidence that wind turbines affect tourism.”
- Here is the evidence
- In a recent survey in Cumbria, over 20% of visitors said they would be unlikely to return if more wind turbines were built.
- In 2002, a VisitScotland survey showed that 26% of visitors would avoid parts of the countryside with wind turbines.
- A 2004 survey on Lewis in the Western Isles showed that 54% of visitors agreed that “any wind farm in this area will discourage tourists from visiting Lewis.”
- A 2002 MORI survey, much publicised by the wind industry, showed that "visitors were twice as likely to return to an area with wind farms". The wind industry forgets to mention that this assertion is based on the responses of just 12 people.
- Tourism locally
Tourism contributes over £1 billion a year in revenue to the North East and Northumberland now attracts 10 million visits a year.
Visitors come to Northumberland for the unspoilt countryside, iconic castles, and magical coastline.
Tourism in this part Northumberland affects us acutely and accounts directly for 13% of our jobs, and indirectly for many more.
The population of Alnwick District and the Borough of Berwick combined is just 58,000.
In Alnwick District alone there are 1.1 million visitors, spending around £200m a year, creating a tax revenue from the area of over £70m.
Most of the remaining £130 million a year is re-spent by businesses and people living in Alnwick district.
Dent tourism expenditure by even 5%, let alone by 25%, and you blow a big hole in the local economy.
- The numbers in perspective
5% of £130 million is £6.5 million.
The budget for Alnwick District Council for Council Tax and the centrally funded Revenue Support Grant combined is £3.4 million a year.
The FMD crisis in 2001 clearly demonstrated how important tourism is to Northumberland’s economy. And how vulnerable it is.
Threatening Northumberland’s tourism businesses with wind turbine power stations clearly conflicts with the Rural Regeneration policy.