A NEW visitor website for Bury has been launched as figures show more people are flocking to its attractions.

Over a three-year period, the number of people visiting the borough has risen by 600,000.

www.visitbury.com is now the official tourism site for the borough, designed to make it easy for people to discover what Bury has to offer, places to visit and stay, and information about local events.

Cllr Jane Lewis, cabinet member for communities and culture, said: “There are more reasons than ever to visit Bury. Traditional attractions such as Bury Market and the East Lancashire Railway remain huge favourites, and they have been augmented in recent years by the redeveloped Bury Transport Museum, the new Fusilier Museum and Bury Sculpture Centre.

"We also have a number of major annual events such as Bury Light Night and Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival which bring in thousands of visitors.”

Figures show that visitors' spending in Bury rose from £238 million in 2009 to £302 million in 2012, and numbers have increased from 4.7 million to 5.3 million over that period.

Cllr Lewis continued: "Bury is also a great place to shop, with major centres such as The Rock and Mill Gate, and is ranked third best retail destination across Greater Manchester behind only the city centre and the Trafford Centre. This high street offer is complemented by a high number of independent stores across our towns and villages and a growing number of places to eat and drink in,"

Many Bury attractions are award-winners: The Met won "Venue of the Year" in the 2014 Manchester Tourism Awards, and Bury Market was "Best Visitor Attraction" in this year’s national market awards. The East Lancashire Railway and Transport Museum are in the top 10 most visited tourist attractions in Greater Manchester.

Cllr Lewis added: "The need for a tourism website reflects how far the borough has come as a visitor destination and the website is an opportunity for tourism businesses to promote themselves to increasing numbers of visitors. "

Nick Brook-Sykes, director of tourism at Marketing Manchester, said: “Bury’s ongoing investment in its attractions and events has played a significant part in furthering the appeal of the destination for visitors and it is a key part of Greater Manchester’s visitor offer."

Businesses can find out more about the website - launched by Bury Council to coincide with English Tourism Week - by e-mailing touristinformation@bury.gov.uk