* indicates required

New jobs, new investment: Northamptonshire’s new tourism strategy wins green light from councillors

INWARD investment, new employment opportunities and a pride in the county are the cornerstones of a new tourism and visitor economy strategy for Northamptonshire.

The strategy, which has been developed by North and West Northamptonshire Councils with partners and stakeholders from the public, private and voluntary and community sectors, will be implemented between now and 2030.

Plans also include the exploration of a new private sector-led Local Visitor Economy Partnership which will work with national tourism agency Visit England to oversee and drive the delivery of the strategy and promote and market specific tourist destinations across the county.

The LVEP will also be responsible for identifying and bidding for government funding streams.

The plan focuses on four key themes:

  • Visits and Value;
  • Great People;
  • Better Business;
  • Inspirational Places.

Similarly to Visit England, which focuses on showcasing the diverse attractions, cultural heritage, and experiences offered by different regions across England, a LVEP would work on strategic marketing initiatives to boost tourism, support local businesses and enhance the overall appeal of Northamptonshire to visitors both domestically and internationally.

The development setting out what the LVEP could look like in Northamptonshire is a priority following the adoption of the Northamptonshire Tourism Strategy and will be explored in partnership with the private sector.

Cllr Daniel Lister, cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “The visitor economy in Northamptonshire is diverse, robust and has extreme potential for largescale growth. By developing a Local Visitor Economy Partnership between the private and public sector, we can source support from Visit England to expand Northamptonshire’s tourism offer even further and realise growth for the entire county.

“Our strategic location in the country, boasting proud culture and heritage, along with world-class attractions and events, makes Northamptonshire the perfect destination for visitors and engagement.”

National tourism statistics show more than 18 million visits to Northamptonshire, with visitors spending close to £1 billion a year which supports over 30,000 jobs across the county and 3,000 businesses including attractions, hotels, pubs and other venues, Cllr Lister pictured left added.

West and North Northamptonshire councillors gave the go-ahead to the strategy at their respective cabinet and executive meetings. Both councils will continue to deliver specific tourism activities at a local level but will work with partners for larger initiatives.

Cllr Helen Howell, deputy leader of North Northamptonshire Council and its executive member for sport, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “We are extremely proud of the county we call home – it really is a hidden gem, which in the past may have been overlooked when people are looking for places to visit and stay.

“But that should not be the case at all and this new strategy sets out how we can attract and improve visitor numbers, encourage people to return and boost the tourism economy.”

The strategy is available to read on the councils’ websites westnorthants.gov.uk and northnorthants.gov.uk.

“It also looks at how we can maximise future potential,” said Cllr Howell. Northamptonshire is packed with experiences and activities for visitors as well as stunning countryside. “We also want to encourage visitors to stay in our county and to do that we need to enhance our accommodation offering from camping, glamping, and budget to high-end accommodation. We really need to shout about Northamptonshire and what it has to offer.”

Cllr Lister added: “We will work collaboratively and creatively to ensure every resident and visitor in Northamptonshire utilises the tourism offer of the county, and we will work with attractions and employers to overcome barriers and realise opportunities for growth.”

More from Northamptonshire:

More news articles: