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Tourism strategy 8 Apr 2024 Tourism strategy for Northamptonshire officially launched

To coincide with English Tourism Week, a brand-new tourism strategy for the county has been launched by North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC).

The Northamptonshire Tourism Strategy sets out a vision and approach to nurturing and enhancing the county’s visitor economy and aims to improve pride in place, generate inward investment and create new employment opportunities as well as reduce carbon emissions in line with both councils’ sustainability goals.

The strategy, which has been developed over an 18-month period and co-produced by WNC and NNC alongside partners and stakeholders from across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors, will be implemented between now and 2030 focusing on 4 key themes: Visits and Value, Great People, Better Business and Inspirational Places. 

A total of 150 representatives from across the industry, both councils and stakeholders gathered for an event at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery yesterday (19 March) to hear about opportunities to progress the development of a Northamptonshire Local Visitor Economy Partnership, as well as see the new strategy and hear from presenters including Visit England.

National statistics show Northamptonshire receives over 18 million visits each year. This totals a spend of close to £1billion which supports over 30,000 jobs and 3,000 businesses across the county, including a wide range of attractions, hotels, pubs and other amazing venues that visitors value and enjoy. NNC and WNC want to grow this economy to not only support local businesses and increase footfall and spend, but to raise the profile of Northamptonshire on a global scale as a unique destination to visit time and time again.

Cllr Helen Howell, NNC’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “While we all know that Northamptonshire is a hidden gem, combining gorgeous countryside, ancient woodlands and cultural treasures, we need to let the rest of the world hear what’s on offer and invite them to relish in our county’s grandeur.

“The recent 2023 cinema smash, Saltburn showcased the stunning heritage we have right on our doorstep at the wonderful Drayton House but this is just a tiny slice of what we have with the county bursting with stately homes and countless honey-stone villages. We really are the envy of others around the globe.

“I’m tremendously proud that we’re part of a partnership which has launched a new tourism strategy for our county and we’re determined to work with the industry and local businesses and attractions to ensure that Northamptonshire’s visitor economy is supported to maximise tourism.

“Whilst both councils are working together on delivering the strategy, we are also committed to our respective areas and, here in the North, we have provisionally been allocated £5 million from Government which will help develop our cultural offering even further.”

Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration & Growth at WNC, said: “Everyone in Northamptonshire knows our area is a unique destination for every resident, visitor, business and investor to enjoy time and time again, before relocating here permanently.

“The offer of this county combines the beauty of the Cotswolds with the excitement of London; there is an unlimited number of things to see, do and experience and we know that the strength of our combined voices will continue to get Northamptonshire showcased on a global stage. We are dedicated to working with as many partners as possible to enhance the local visitor economy and achieve pride in place for everyone within the area.

“Here in West Northamptonshire, we’re proud to be home to Silverstone which just received a 10-year extension of the Formula 1 grand prix, we’re hosting large scale music events in the summer including A Perfect Day concert featuring award winning headline act James Arthur, and next year we’ll be hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

“Northamptonshire is an area that has a unique offering, a robust heritage and an incredible potential for growth. I’m extremely excited to see this develop and our Economic Growth & Inward Investment service will be working diligently to secure LVEP status for Northamptonshire as soon as possible.”

As well as the launch of the Tourism Strategy for Northamptonshire, this week sees the first birthday of the Discover Northamptonshire Hub at Rushden Lakes - a fully interactive space which promotes all things Northamptonshire, including days out, attractions, walks, town and village offerings, places to eat, sustainable transport, heritage, accommodation and local and major events. The hub has events planned to mark English Tourism Week as well as for the Easter holidays.

The strategy can be viewed on the Discover Northamptonshire website.

Contact Information

West Northamptonshire Council Communications Team
[email protected]

Notes to editors

North Northamptonshire Council have provisionally been awarded £5m of Levelling Up Culture Projects funding from central Government. As part of this process, NNC will be required to create an investment plan detailing how the funds would be spent.

As part of this process, NNC will be working alongside partners to identify suitable projects as well as looking at the council’s recently adopted Culture, Tourism and Heritage Business Plan.

Any funding received will be used to develop and improve the culture offer across North Northants, building on what is already a vibrant and diverse range of opportunities.