The poisoning incident in Salisbury in March was truly horrendous and I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of the police and security personnel, medical staff, military and investigation teams who have led the response to this appalling incident.
The Government is playing an active part in helping the great city of Salisbury recover from this incident. In my capacity as Tourism Minister I visited the city on Wednesday, 30th May to highlight to everyone that it is perfectly safe to be there, how extraordinarily attractive it is a tourist location and to assure everyone that Salisbury is open for business.
The Government is keen to hear from the business sector about how we can support the city in its recovery and to that end I met influential business leaders in the area to discuss the matter. From my conversations with business leaders, I know that recent months have been difficult but that signs of improvement are there due to the resilience of local leaders.
The Culture Department in government has already allocated £100,000 to the local tourism authority Visit Wiltshire to support Salisbury, and another £100,000 has been allocated from the GREAT campaign (a campaign that runs internationally for the UK to showcase the best of what our nation has to offer) to support Salisbury internationally in marketing. Overall, Government departments have invested £2.5 million to help the area with the recovery. Salisbury is a safe place to visit, but it is also a great place to visit: the city offers heritage sites such as Salisbury Cathedral and Museum and of course Stonehenge is nearby. In the face of recent adversity I have been impressed by the resilience of the people of Salisbury and I am pleased that we have been able to visit.
You can read more about my visit to Salisbury by clicking on the following link to the local Salisbury Journal newspaper: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16259365.Tourism_minister__The_government_wants_to_hear_how_it_can_help/.