Residents and businesses around Northumberland are being encouraged to make plans for what will be the county’s very first ‘Northumberland Day’, on Sunday May 28 2017, and which could thereafter take place on the last Sunday in May each year.
The news of the creation of an official day on which to celebrate all things Northumbrian comes after 15 months of planning by Langley Castle, which first put out a call for a Northumberland Day in July 2015.
Since then, various passionate individuals and businesses have attended meetings to drive the vision forward, with the most recent of these being held at Woodhorn, in Ashington.
This meeting was able to spread the vision amongst even more businesses and organisations, from locations across the county, all of whom were as passionate about creating a day upon which to express civic pride in Northumberland, and celebrate its history and culture, as the founder members of the group.
A vote on whether or not the enlarged group should spearhead a drive to stage a Northumberland Day in 2017, without any funding but with the goodwill and cooperation of all the businesses and organisations that have been involved so far, as well as many more, led to a unanimous decision to proceed.
The choice of date has been linked to the date of the Northumberland County Show, which will be held the day after Northumberland Day 2017, allowing the possibility of some activity at the showground, but also enabling families to celebrate the new county day together, as May 28 falls in the school holidays.
This is also an ideal time in which to encourage more visitors to explore the county, creating economic benefits from the creation of a county day that can be felt across many sectors, including tourism, food and drink, retail, heritage and transport.
The aim of the group will also be to engage the education sector and have a county-wide celebration of life in Northumberland within schools on Friday May 26.
Every parish council, community group, business network and business will be encouraged to do something to celebrate Northumberland Day, whether that is flying the Northumberland flag, decorating a window in the county’s colours of red and yellow, organising a street party, or holding a special event.
Tourism attractions will be urged to create special Northumberland Day events, which can take place throughout the period in and around Northumberland Day, so that there is a full week of activities available for local residents and visitors to enjoy. In this sense, Northumberland Day will be part of a seven-day, or longer, celebration of life in the county, both past and present.
Accommodation providers will also be asked to include content about these events on their websites and create special Northumberland Day packages, which will encourage visitors to travel to Northumberland and take part in the celebrations.
The vision, however, is still larger than this. Langley Castle is keen to find a sponsor, or sponsors, of a big event or centrepiece for Northumberland Day that will be a huge talking point and the cherry on top of the cake. It is keen to hear from any organisations wishing to be involved at this level.
Langley Castle’s owner, Dr Stuart Madnick, says: “This is my 30th anniversary year as owner of Langley Castle and I am thrilled to know that our vision of creating a county day for Northumberland is to be realised in 2017. Months of hard work and commitment have gone into this and we must thank all the organisations that have been involved with our idea and helped put a date in the calendar.
“Yorkshire Day has been part of that county’s life for a very long time and our vision is to see Northumberland Day having the same grass-roots support, delivered by passionate Northumbrians who wish to show a pride in their county.”
Anyone wishing to take part should contact Jane Hunt, at Catapult PR, on NDay@catapultpr.co.uk