A cash strapped tourism body which drove the growth of the industry across the region faces liquidation. East of England Tourism's (EET) days were numbered after the Coalition Government decided to scrap regional development agencies, including the East of England Development Agency, cutting off its funding of about £1million a year.
The body, which had its headquarters in Dettingen Way, Bury St Edmunds, had a workforce of about 22, but has been shedding jobs since October. The last paid staff left in the last couple of months. EET tried to find funding from other sources, but could not secure vital interm funds from EEDA.
"In the absence of any transitional funding to enable us to move into a self-financing body, EET has been exploring all other potential options to ensure the preservation of our assets in the East of England," it said. "Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a solution in the limited time available and the Board had no alternative but to put the organisation into liquidation."
Chair Bev Hurley said: "It is a sad day for EET, which has done so much to promote the East of England's wonderful tourism assets."
Richard Powell, National Trust Director of Region, East of England, said EET had made a valuable contribution to the economy over the years. "I am saddened by the news." he said.
The Board of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, one of the bodes to replace EEDA, was considering a new structure for tourism at its meeting yesterday. Chair Andy Woods said EET had play a major role in championing the region. A creditors meeting is being convened by McTear Williams & Wood on July 5 at The Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Bury St Edmunds. Contact Adrian Sage of McTear Williams & Wood on 01603 877548.
East Anglian Daily Times
22 June 2011