Work starts on new Discover Northamptonshire hubCulture and tourism
17 January 2023
North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) has started work on a new tourism hub at Rushden Lakes which when open, will promote the attractions and highlight the unique offering available in and around the local area.
Using funds from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, work is now well underway, with the new Discover Northamptonshire hub expected to be open in time for English Tourism Week in March and the Easter holidays. The Hub will be open 7 days a week and is located next to the entrance to the Cinema at the Rushden Lakes Centre.
A dedicated Discover Northamptonshire team will work at the centre to capitalise on the 6 million visitors who visit Rushden Lakes annually and encourage them to stay longer in the area, visiting other attractions in the county and supporting local tourism, including our high streets, accommodation providers, and transport.
The Discover Northamptonshire hub will be a fully interactive space, promoting all things Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas, including days out, attractions, walks, town and village offerings, places to eat, sustainable transport, heritage, accommodation, and events.
A retail space will promote small and local business, rotating stock on a regular basis to give a variety of businesses the chance to showcase their products at Rushden Lakes and reach a large audience, whilst a flexible events and conferencing space will mean workshops, talks and events can be held.
Once open, staff will work with partners including local schools, colleges and universities to provide learning and volunteering opportunities for those interested in working in the tourism sector, as well as working with local businesses to promote the area and encourage visitors to ‘Discover Northamptonshire’, asking the question where next to visit in Northamptonshire?
It is great that work has started on the new Discover Northamptonshire hub and I look forward to it opening in March. There will be a dedicated team on site ready to help and advise visitors on all the wonderful attractions we have across the local area and further afield - from local walks along the Greenway and Nene Valley to Chester House Estate, through to our lovely high streets, Villages, Culture and Heritage venues and the larger visitor attractions.Cllr Helen Howell, North Northamptonshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism
We have some wonderful hidden gems in the area and the hub will really help promote these, as well as giving small businesses the chance to showcase their products to such a large, captive audience. We hope the new hub will really help put Northamptonshire on the map.
Although the site will be operated by NNC, the team have worked closely with West Northamptonshire Council on the hub’s branding and both councils plan to launch a new long term tourism strategy for the county which will coincide with the opening of the new hub at Rushden Lakes. The new tourism strategy is a collaboration between both councils and, once completed, will look at promoting the county as a whole, working closely with partners and stakeholders within the industry. The Discover Northamptonshire hub will be a key element of this strategy for Northamptonshire.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with NNC to launch this exciting project and develop a new Northamptonshire Tourism Strategy. We hope that both initiatives will help cultivate a vibrant, successful visitor economy in Northamptonshire which shines a light on our fantastic heritage, cultural and natural assets, while also supporting local businesses and creating jobs and opportunities for communities throughout the local area.Cllr Daniel Lister, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth
Further details about the Discover Northamptonshire hub opening and new tourism strategy for Northamptonshire will be available soon.