03 Nov Visitor information centre for North Northants on Executive agenda
As part of a report providing an update on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) Executive will discuss a new visitor information centre at Rushden Lakes.
The fund is a central part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and North Northamptonshire has been allocated £4,835,332 (a mixture of revenue and capital funding) for local investment by March 2025.
Projects must focus on three priority themes, Communities and Place, Supporting Local Business, People & Skills, with grant schemes, events to attract visitors to high streets across the area and work on the existing DiscoverNN app have all been identified as projects suitable for delivery in Year 1, alongside a new visitor information centre at Rushden Lakes.
The Centre will be the focus of the capital allocation for Year 1, with an existing unit at Rushden Lakes being transformed. Work, and the day to day running of the Centre, will be undertaken by NNC.
After funding has been received from Government, the unit will be transformed into a striking visual space, with local area information on display and retail space, alongside community engagement and education, all whilst encouraging visitor footfall across the local area.
It is hoped that once open, the new information centre will become a hub for the area’s tourism offer and highlight the unique and exciting visitor attractions across North Northamptonshire, all whilst encouraging visitors and residents to get involved, share their photos of the local area and engage on social media.
Cllr David Brackenbury, the council’s Executive Member for Growth and Regeneration, said:
“Following consultation and engagement earlier in the year, we are now looking in more detail as to how North Northamptonshire’s share of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be spent, this includes a variety of exciting projects that will help to grow the area and increase footfall through the area. Once the funding has been released, work will be able to start with all projects due to be delivered by March 2025.”
Cllr Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:
“Once this fantastic asset is open, our Officers will work with existing partners such as the University of Leicester and Creating Tomorrow trust to provide learning and volunteering opportunities. All staff, volunteers and students will be visitor focussed, providing exceptional customer service to visitors and helping create bespoke itineraries for days out across North Northamptonshire.”
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council, said:
“I look forward to receiving an update on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the progress we are making in preparation for the receiving of funds, as well as how the projects, including the new visitor information centre, will be delivered, alongside details on how they will benefit North Northamptonshire.”