AWARD-winning Lake District tourism business World of Beatrix Potter has reported profits at an ‘all-time high’.
The Bowness tourist attraction saw visitor numbers increase by 15 per cent over the past year and turnover up by 18 per cent.
Although no fin-ancial details have been revealed, chief executive Andy Poole said the attraction had a 20 per cent increase in sales through the online Beatrix Potter shop.
Since opening in 1991, more three million visitors of all ages and nationalities have enjoyed the exhibition.
The increase in visitor numbers follows significant investment in early 2013, including the intro-duction of state-of-the-art digital and interactive updates which helped to make last year the best in trading history.
It is a continuation of a trend which has seen profits nearly doubling in the past five years.
Mr Poole said the success had been shared in every area of the business, with high growth in ecommerce in recent months allowing an expansion of warehouse space to manage the 20 per cent rise in online sales.
He revealed that more staff had been taken on to compliment the ‘dedicated team’ of managers and staff already in place, and feedback from visitors from both UK and overseas had been ‘extremely positive’, reinforcing the message ‘that the appeal of Beatrix Potter, her work and her legacy remains as strong as ever’.
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Mr Poole said: “The last twelve months have been a great year for the attraction and all its retail operations, giving a boost to Lakeland tourism and the local economy. The hard work put in by our dedicated team will enable us to continue to push boundaries and provide the best experience for those visiting and working here in the year to come. Our garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will help raise our profile further. A very exciting year in prospect.”
To continue the success of the last trading year, the attraction is hosting a line-up of popular events in 2014 including: a series of Peter Rabbit Tea Parties, the world-famous Peter Rabbit Egg Hunt and, for the first time, the attraction will be exhibiting a Peter Rabbit Herb Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show — the only business representing Cumbria and the Lake District on this international platform.