03 November 2016

Celebrating Northamptonshire’s rich heritage as the county continues to grow is the subject of a new strategy which has been developed by Northamptonshire County Council.

As well as recognising Northamptonshire’s cultural assets, the plan will set out how the county’s heritage can be harnessed to boost people’s wellbeing and the local economy.

The blueprint will also examine how heritage can be used as an educational tool and a means to raise the profile of Northamptonshire not only as a place but also as a cultural tourism destination.

It is recognised that as the county grows, the county’s heritage and ‘uniqueness’ needs to be recognised in a similar way in which the natural environment needs to be taken into account.

Heritage trust

In order to take the strategy forward a charitable limited company - Northamptonshire Heritage Trust - will be established.
The Trust will ensure that all groups involved in heritage projects in the county can collaborate towards common goals, rather than working in isolation.

Cllr Heather Smith, Leader of the county council said: “If you take a drive through Northamptonshire it’s remarkable to see a county which is dripping with rich cultural heritage.

“Pass through any town or along any country lane and you will encounter reminders – many unheralded - of a very colourful past, which has very much helped shape our lives today.

“Once heritage is destroyed it can never be adequately replaced. That makes it is essential that we have a programme in place to ensure that our wealth of cultural history is safeguarded for future generations.

“Any growth strategies take the environment into account and this strategy works in a similar way in recognising the importance of heritage in our identity.

“Northamptonshire is one of the fastest growing areas of the country and we must be careful, as we grow rapidly, that our backs are not turned on what makes our county truly unique.”

The proposal for the heritage strategy will be discussed by the county council’s cabinet on November 9.

Also in the report are details of a Northamptonshire Heritage website, which will support the strategy and act as an information hub. www.northamptonshireheritage.co.uk

The report also outlines a proposal for the creation of a separate charitable limited company for the Chester Farm initiative and plans for the former Castle House site in Northampton town centre.