Landmark attracts record number of visitors

SOUTER LIGHTHOUSE ... attracted record numbers of visitors last year.
SOUTER LIGHTHOUSE ... attracted record numbers of visitors last year.

A SOUTH Tyneside tourist spot has helped the National Trust reach record numbers.

Despite tough economic times, the charity said it had more than 900,000 visitors to its paid-for attractions between March last year and February this year – a 12 per cent rise on last year’s figures.

The trust said it has also seen a “substantial” rise in visitors to its shops and cafés.

More than half of the Trust’s North East places have welcomed record numbers of visitors, including Souter Lighthouse.

Liz Fisher, assistant director of operations in the North East, said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed more than 900,000 visitors to our places in the North East.

“It is really heartening to see that in times of recession people are valuing the enjoyment that days out at National Trust places can offer.

“I think the value for money our membership offers, combined with our continued investments to improve our facilities, and the experiences we offer has led to this success.”

Membership fees for the National Trust start at £39.75 for an individual and £43.50 for a family, offering hundreds of days out, and free entry to the Trust’s pay for entry places in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Liz added: “As a charity the Trust relies on income from membership sales and paying visitors as well as retail and catering sales to conserve the places we look after.

“We are continually looking to invest in the places in our care to ensure we are offering the best possible day out for our supporters, and balancing that with the conservation needs of our built and outdoor spaces.”

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