Browse By

Lucy Powell MP to mark English Tourism Week by visiting Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Lucy Powell MP will be visiting Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to mark the start of English Tourism Week (18 to 27 March) and to find out more about the important contribution to tourism made by the Grade II* listed Regency-style villa where Elizabeth wrote some of her most famous novels.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House hasn’t stood still over the last two years, from the moment that the nation went into lockdown in 2020 within days it launched its first online readalong. This would lead to a trailblazing series of online events that have attracted an international audience across Europe, North America and even as far away as Victoria Island. And in 2021, despite being open from only May of that year, the North West regional Museum Survey indicates that Elizabeth Gaskell’s House had a positive economic impact of £129,318 on the Local Economy.

Lucy Powell MP will be finding out more about the work of the small staff team and fantastic volunteers at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. As an independent charity it relies on income from visitors and supporters and is working incredibly hard on its post-Covid recovery and the challenges this has presented. Also part of the tour will be a look at Elizabeth Gaskell’s reimagined bedroom, a project that was worked on behind the scenes during the lockdowns. Carefully sourced period pieces, objects from the Gaskell Family Collection, donations, commissions and the handcraft skills of volunteers have transformed a blank canvas into a room that adds a completely new and exciting dimension to the visitor experience.

Ben Cowell, Director General of the Historic Houses Association, says,
“Elizabeth Gaskell’s House provides a terrific example of the contribution that independent heritage makes to tourism in England. The story of the great novelist is told through the house in which she lived and the garden that she loved so much. At Historic Houses, we are delighted that Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is supporting English Tourism Week, which shines a light on wonderful destinations to visit all over the country.”

Looking to the future Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is adding its voice to the Historic Houses Association’s call for the temporary cut on VAT (from 20% to 12.5%) to be made permanent. This move would put the country in line with the rest of Europe and make prices more competitive at a time when there is still so much more to do to ensure the survival of heritage attractions and to encourage national and overseas audiences back to the levels they once were.

Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, House Manager at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, says, “We are all going to need political and public support to get back on our feet and promote Brand Britain to the world, so we are delighted that Lucy Powell MP is coming to visit us at a time when English Tourism Week is helping to shine a light on tourism and fly the flag for a sector that contributes so much to the economy and has the power to enrich peoples lives.”

For further information on Elizabeth Gaskell’s House visit