Rhubarb, steam trains and the first UK sightseeing pass are among eight schemes to promote tourism to Yorkshire nationally and boost the regional economy.

Welcome to Yorkshire unveiled the plans to more than 1,000 guests at Harrogate’s International Conference Centre, at what was billed as the biggest tourism conference in the UK.

The stage version of The Railway Children, originally filmed in parts of the Bradford district 40 years ago, will be performed in a specially-built theatre at London’s Waterloo station.

The region will have its very own themed Rhubarb Crumble & Custard garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

The Yorkshire Pass to more than 70 attractions with admission charges, including Skipton Castle and Harewood House, will be available from April 1.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, Gary Verity, said: “More than ten million people a month use Waterloo Station. Taking The Railway Children to the new Welcome to Yorkshire theatre is a massive opportunity to raise our profile in the capital.

“There are 130 parks and gardens in Yorkshire. Having a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show will be a springboard for our initiative to promote them.

“Yorkshire is the fastest-growing tourist destination in the UK. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Other plans to promote Yorkshire include sponsoring the popular TV programme Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Backing is also being given to a new television series called The Dales – a sequel to The Lakes.

One of the features of the conference was an on-stage cook out. Bradford’s Gita Mistry, 2008 Home Cook Champion on BBC2’s Eating with the Enemy, cooked lamb chops – much appreciated by Rosie Winterton MP, Minister for Yorkshire & the Humber.

Bradford Councillor John Pennington said afterwards: “The initiatives Welcome to Yorkshire announced can only be good for us – the Railway Children, for example. I believe trains are the future. Let’s have a cross-rail link in Bradford and put the city on the map.

“I think the Yorkshire Pass is a good idea. Each of the attractions will get a small percentage of income from it. I hope the booking method is straight forward. Keep it simple.”

Information about the Yorkshire Pass can be found on yorkshirepass.com or by ringing (01904) 550099.