Bid to attract visitors to stay in Nene Valley

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A campaign has been launched to promote the natural beauty and tourist attractions of the Nene Valley.

At present Northamptonshire attracts a lot of day visitors but the project aims to encourage people to stay for a weekend or longer and to take in all the local attractions. It also aims to tell local people about all the attractions that are on their doorsteps.

The initiative is being run by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, East Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire County Council.

Rob Purdie, executive director of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, said: “This work has been about trying to give a very clear identity to the Nene Valley and develop a marketing package around that which makes it sustainable over time. I think the people who know about what is in the Nene Valley love it. I think we have to get to a point where more people know about it.

“What we get is a lot of day visitors. One of the keys with this type of project is to get people to stay for longer and see the other things we have to offer.

“It’s also good for the local community and local business. Visitors may go to the smaller towns like Irthlingborough, Rushden and Thrapston and have a meal or a drink, or do some shopping, so it helps with the general economy as well.

“I think we have got some fantastic assets in the county.”

Postcards featuring images taken at Stanwick Lakes, the River Nene at Fotheringhay, Oundle Mill and Lyveden New Bield have been created for the campaign and direct mail and email will be used to spread the promotional messages. A new website – www.nenevalley.net – has been launched and a Facebook page and Twitter account, @_nenevalley, have also been created.

Caroline Marriott, of Lower Farm Bed and Breakfast, Barnwell, was among local business owners at the launch of the project yesterday at Stanwick Lakes. She said: “The guests we have had have been really surprised by what’s around here, it’s not been marketed as a big tourist destination before.

“We have had businessmen who have come in the week and they have come back to bring their families for a weekend, as a result a one night stay has turned into a weekend. We have had guests who have come for weddings who have come back too. People get on the A605 and A14 and they don’t realise there’s so much green space just off it.”