THE minister for digital, culture, media and sport visited Salisbury today (Thursday) to show his support for tourism and says the government is "very keen" to help Salisbury get back on its feet.

MP Jeremy Wright visited a number of attractions in the city including Salisbury Playhouse, the cathedral and Salisbury Museum.

Tourism attractions in the city have seen a drop in footfall after the Novichok poisonings in March and June.

Mr Wright who has been in the post for four months say he was "very keen" to come to Salisbury, adding: "Because of what happened in March and then in June the government has been very keen to do what it can to help Salisbury get back on its feet and carry on attracting people into the city centre.

"We have been keen to do that financially so we have made some money available, which I have been hearing about how well it has been spent.

"It is quite important that psychologically we come, we show we're here, we're interested and happy to support that is what it is really about.

"It is not just about the money it is about making practical offers to help where we can and to make sure those that have been working so hard at local government level, across the police force and of course in the area of tourism, all the businesses big and small that have been affected by what has happened know that we are on their side and we want to be supportive."

He said £500,000 had been set aside to support tourism.

Mr Wright added: "What we are now going to do is talk about ways in which government might help working with the local councils to develop future options for how Salisbury might grow and prosper.

"I'm here because I want to hear about the ideas that are being developed locally this isn't something that I think is best developed in Whitehall and dropped on Salisbury from a great height. It has to be developed locally. I'm interested to hear what ideas there are and what more we might be able to do to help."

"One of the things that is obvious is you step off the train is Salisbury has a huge amount to offer a visitor and that hasn't changed," said Mr Wright.

"It is quite important we get that message across that it is safe for people to come here but more than that this is an attractive place to come, people should want to come to Salisbury to see what it has to offer."

And to businesses in the city he said the government was behind them and "everything possible is being done to get people back in".

He praised the resilience of the people of Salisbury, adding: "I have been impressed by the way in which everyone has come together over this. It isn't just local government working on what can be done. It is local government, businesses, the community more broadly, law enforcement and of course extra elements brought from government, those working with Defra. My sense is there has been a real sense of community effort here."