Monthly Archives: April 2016

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The call of the wild: Rory champions weekend walking trips in our National Parks

Environment Minister Rory Stewart is urging all would-be walkers and have-a-go-hikers to visit their nearest National Park or public woodland this Bank Holiday weekend and throughout the summer.

Treading a path for others to follow, the Minister will be visiting some of our most iconic green spaces over the three-day weekend, including the New Forest, South Downs, Heart of England Forest and the National Forest.

Encouraging others to get out and discover their local landscapes, Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

“The UK’s National Parks, forests and woodlands are right at the heart of our national identity. These spaces belong to each and every one of us, and I’d challenge anyone visiting to enjoy them without feeling a pang of pride about that sense of ownership.

“I’m delighted our outdoor spaces and National Parks are driving economic growth through international tourism, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t be enjoying them for ourselves as well – getting out and enjoying the great outdoors is a brilliant way to feel healthier and properly unwind over the long weekend.”

In March, the government announced a new Plan for National Parks to further secure the future of our iconic protected landscapes, ensuring they are effectively managed and contribute to the growth of our strong rural economy.

With over half of the population in England living within an hour of a National Park, the plan aims to increase the diversity of visitors from the UK – as well as promoting these world-class cultural attractions to a global audience through the GREAT campaign to drive international tourism.

The government aims to grow annual visitor numbers to 100 million, giving local businesses a £440 million boost and adding to the £4 billion already generated by National Parks.

The budget for outdoor spaces was protected in the last Spending Review, committing over £350 million for English National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and forests.


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Rory Stewart MP joined Eden Arts Director Adrian Lochhead, EDC Economic Development Portfolio-holder David Hymers, and Commercial Director of Ast Signs Adam Wellings at an informal networking lunch on Friday, which was designed to bring local business and the arts together to discuss a common visit for the arts in the Penrith area. Adrian Lochhead explained how much of a local economic driver the successful Winter Droving event is, and Rory spoke about the importance of creating new traditions.
Speaking at the event Rory described Eden Arts as a national gem, saying:
“Eden Arts brings an amazing energy to Penrith. I spend a lot of time going to events where people talk about the way you can get an economy going and connect it to culture, society, ideas, and beauty; but few people are as articulate or effective at this than Eden Arts. We are really lucky to have Adrian and his team delivering inspiring ideas and making them reality, and I would love to see more local businesses engaging with Eden Arts on their projects. Eden Arts is a national gem, right here in Penrith, and they have a fantastic ability – with events like the Winter Droving – to create new traditions, to keep young people connected, to encourage visitors, and to show the rest of the country what rural Britain can be.”


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Rory Stewart MP has celebrated the work of National Apprenticeships at an Interserve reception at the Houses of Parliament, which celebrated the importance of UK apprenticeships across all industries.
It coincided with Rory’s nomination to the APPG for Corporate Responsibility’s ‘2016 Responsible Business Awards’ of Penrith-based business Ast Signs, for its dedication to young people through its apprenticeship scheme.
Speaking at the event Rory said: “Responsible business and apprenticeships go hand in hand, and it is great to see so many employers creating so many apprenticeships for young people; last month, employers across the country pledged to create 30,000 new apprenticeships, which is wonderful for all communities. In Cumbria, I see local dedication to providing apprenticeships as key not just to our economy, but more importantly to the hopes and aspirations of young Cumbrians – enhancing their job prospects, giving them the chance to learn a wide range of skills, and helping them gain experience in different environments. I think the work at Ast Signs does just that, and that is also why I am choosing them as my nominated business for this year’s”
The annual Responsible Business Awards is a parliamentary scheme whereby MPs are given a chance to nominate businesses who, among other criteria, show a dedication to apprenticeships and training. Rory has already highlighted the excellent work of other companies in the constituency working hard in this field, including Cranstons and Innovia. Nominees will be invited to attend a parliamentary reception, and the national winner will be awarded by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid MP.
Picture attached: Caption – Rory Stewart MP with Nadhim Zahawi, the Prime Minister’s Apprenticeship Advisor.image-1 image
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Rory Stewart MP has pledged his support for residents of Edenside care home in Appleby, who were evacuated to the former Greengarth care home in Penrith, when Appleby was hit by the devastating Storm Desmond in December. Repair work to the care home has not yet started and there are fears in the community that this might take some time, or that the home may be closed permanently.

Mr Stewart has immediately initiated talks with Cumbria County Council this week to establish when work to repair the property will be undertaken and to gain assurances that the facility will be up and running in a reasonable timescale. Mr Stewart has also requested a visit to Greengarth on Friday 22nd April to meet with staff and residents and hear their concerns first-hand.

Rory Stewart said: “With an ageing population and increasing pressures on local resources, we must ensure that these well established homes and their knowledgeable staff can continue to care for residents in their own communities, close to family and friends. And I am committed to doing everything I can to help get the residents of Edenside back home.”