Article - we have an economic as well as a cultural reason for ensuring that everything we build maintains and enhances the appearance of West Dorset

Last week, amidst large amounts of exciting news, two small but significant items relating to Dorset might easily have gone unnoticed.

The Local Enterprise Partnership has won a bid for money from the local Growth Fund to promote tourism in Dorset. And the County Council has won a bid for money to finance new Apps that will help drivers to see traffic ahead on the A31/35.

It is good to see the County Council and Local Enterprise Partnership constructing imaginative ways of boosting our local economy by smoothing the way for more tourists.

Of course, tourism is by no means the only industry in West Dorset. But it remains the biggest single industrial sector in West Dorset. 

And it is because of tourism during the tourist season that many of our other service industries are viable year-round.

So I'm glad that this enormously important but often unremarked element of our economy is receiving the attention it deserves from the public bodies that are responsible for helping business to prosper locally.

We shouldn't delude ourselves into believing that West Dorset's attraction to tourists is based purely on human effort. On the contrary, the dispensations of divine providence, which have given us the heritage coastline of Lyme bay and the rolling hills and vales stretching behind it from the sea to the Wiltshire border, are primarily responsible for drawing people to West Dorset from the rest of the country and, increasingly, from other parts of the world too.

But I believe that, as we build the new homes we need to accommodate young families, and as we adapt our infrastructure to deal with larger volumes of people and traffic we should remember, that the look and feel of West Dorset - which makes it so attractive to tourists - is in part man-made and that we therefore have an economic reason as well as a cultural reason for ensuring that everything we build maintains and enhances the appearance of West Dorset and melds harmoniously with the landscape and heritage on which both our quality of life and our most important industry so heavily depend.