THE Lake District could become one of the UK’s top cultural tourist destinations following a £324,000 grant from the Arts Council.

Arts Council England has rubber-stamped the special 'Cultural Destinations' grant which will see some of Lakeland’s biggest arts providers unite as part of an ambitious three-year project aimed at putting art and culture at the heart of the Cumbria’s £2-billion-a-year tourist economy.

The funding bid was put together by Cumbria Tourism and Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre which are heading up a consortium of key organisations, including the Lakeland Arts Trust, Wordsworth Trust, Kendal Arts International and the National Trust.

They aim is to create a ‘unique cultural brand identity and marketing approach’ for the arts in the Lake District aimed at attracting visitors to the county specifically to experience the arts and promote arts to tourists visiting on holiday.

The project also includes the creation of a new annual programme of arts and performances entitled Spring Awakening which will be curated by a nationally recognised cultural figure.

Brewery chief executive Richard Foster said the decision to award the money showed that the Lake District was regarded as a nationally important home of arts and culture.

“This is a completely new way of promoting the Lake District which we are very excited about.

“Coming on the back of the UK Government’s support for nominating the Lake District for World Heritage site status in 2016 this is brilliant news.”

Cumbria Tourism’s head of operations Richard Greenwood said: “We are delighted the bid has been approved and that there will be additional resources to market the high quality arts and cultural offer available across The Lake District and Cumbria.”