Fireworks lit up the skies in Northampton last night as the county’s tourism campaign started with a bang.
A major marketing drive aimed at enticing more people to the Northamptonshire’s landmarks over spring and summer got underway yesterday - first with an event at Boughton House and then with a dazzling firework display next to the The National Lift Tower in St James.
A three-minute 3D film was projected into the iconic building at around 8.30pm, highlighting the “hidden tresaures” the county has to offer.
The campaign, called “Northamptonsh!re. Britain’s Best Surpr!se”, has been devised by James Lowther, who was once the creative director of advertising giants Saatchi & Saatchi, alongside a number or key county organisations.
Speaking last night, Mr Lowther said: “This is all about Northamptonshire as a destination and what a surprising destination it is.
“It’s very close to London but people thunder down the M1 without realising it’s there.”
Mr Lowther said tourism brought in 20 million visitors to the county and around £1 billion into the economy last year alone.
His aim, he says, is to increase the feel good factor” around the county, which he hopes will put it on a par with Glourcestershire in terms of tourism earnings.
He said: “Someone said to me yesterday the first two letters in Northampton are ‘no.’. I want to turn that it into ‘Yesthampton’ if you like.
“We are home to some of the best stately homes in Britain - and there are 24 that we are showcasing.
“We have a surprising history here too. Richard III was born here; May Queen of Scots was executed here.
“And at the same time we make 80 per cent of the world’s Formula One cars.”
The campaign is set to hold more “stunts” over the summer months to attract visitors to the county.
In the meantime, details of Northamptonsh!re. Britain’s Best Surpr!se are available via the campaign website: www.northamptonshiresurprise.com.