“Biggest ever” Northamptonshire tourism campaign to be launched

James Lowther outside Holdenby House.
James Lowther outside Holdenby House.

Northamptonshire’s ‘biggest ever’ tourism campaign will be launched next month – and those behind it say it will be full of unusual and surprising things.

The campaign will promote the best of the county and hopes to increase tourism revenue by 50 per cent in the next five years.

What the project entails is being kept under wraps for now, but county residents can expect to see more of it when it is soft-launched in Northamptonshire in January.

The campaign has been launched by James Lowther, former creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi and chairman of M&C Saatchi.

Speaking at his Holdenby House home today (Thursday), he said: “This is hopefully the beginning of the biggest campaign we have ever done in Northamptonshire.

“This is a beautiful county with so much history and we can do more to bring people here.

“All of this will bring money into the county, not just money but employment.”

The campaign is being produced by a partnership ­of bodies in the county, including the county council, Lord Lieutenancy and University of Northampton.

Unusual executions will appear at major entry points where people travel through or to the county, including railway stations, the M1, Silverstone and Franklin’s Gardens.

A website will be launched promoting attractions, stately homes, churches, restaurants, hotels and events.

In 2015, Northamptonshire received 19.9 million tourism visits which generated £1.075bn for the local economy.

In Gloucestershire tourism generated £1.5bn, and that’s the campaign’s target in five years’ time.

Lord Lieutenant David Laing said: “Northamptonshire has hid its light under a bushel for too long.

“This is a unique opportunity not just to surprise the rest of the country and international visitors with the sheer depth of our visitor offer, but to bring much-needed extra money and employment to the area.”

The campaign is being part-funded by money from the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP).

Those behind it say it is being funded through ‘resource and not cash’ so cannot give a campaign cost, but a similar campaign would cost about £200,000.

It will be launched at the World Travel Market next month before being soft-launched in January.

The national launch will then take place in March, featuring food writer William Sitwell and former Northants cricketer Allan Lamb.