The Northumberland Tourism industry reacts to the Prime Minister's Roadmap announcement

Report by Tom Barton

Hopes for a revival of the region's tourism industry over Easter weekend were dashed when the Prime Minister announced his roadmap out of lockdown.

The earliest we'll be able to go on holiday is mid April, when UK overnight stays in self contained accommodation will be allowed.

But businesses in Northumberland and say they're pleased at having a date to work towards and are hoping for a busy summer season.

At Seafield Caravan Park in Seahouses they’re getting ready to welcome visitors back. For manager Simon Manners, having a target is cause for optimism.

Simon Manners, Seafield Caravan Park

It’s all systems go now. Where before you’ve maybe just been waiting to get the go ahead, and now we have got to go ahead. And you can plan, you can shape things you can get organised. With managing to get open in April this year, bear in mind last it was July, so we're a good few months ahead of where we were this time last year. I would like to think that we will have a very good season.

Simon Manners

But at the Craster Arms in nearby Beadnell, the government’s roadmap was greeted with disappointment. Closed over Easter and then restricted to serving customers outdoors is going to leave this business struggling.

I was hoping to possibly be able to open the doors mid April. Obviously that's not going to be the case. We are very lucky in that we have a huge beer garden. We can still have 150 people in here quite adequately spaced. We can't just rely on on the beer garden so we're looking forward to getting people through the doors. And it's vital now for our survival.

Michael Dawson, Craster Arms

As lockdown starts to come to an end, it is going to transform places like Seahouses. Places that rely on tourism. By the summer, the restaurants should be serving again, the hotels will be accepting bookings and the boat trips will once again be sailing.

For those who oversee the tourism industry in Northumberland, the clarity offered by the roadmap is welcome.

We do now at least have more to work towards than we have had probably in the past. So that is great. And it's a little bit away, which of course is frustrating to a certain extent. But it gives us time to plan, to do some destination management as well which is vital. So we're looking forward to welcoming people back as soon as we can.

Cris Brown, Visit Northumberland

While missing the busy Easter break will be frustrating for some in the industry, the return of visitors to this beautiful corner of England is something all will welcome.