A bid to make Leicester the City of Culture should provide big spin-off benefits for Market Harborough if it proves successful.
Our city neighbour has made the shortlist of candidates to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2017.
In its bid literature, it says part of the campaign will be to shine a light on the county’s market towns - meaning potentially lucrative benefits for places like Harborough and Lutterworth.
Harborough District Council leader Blake Pain said: “A successful bid would have positive benefits for our district in terms of generating tourism, boosting our economy and putting the county on the national stage.
“It could provide business opportunities locally and attract investment.
“I would urge everyone to support Leicester’s bid and join some of the campaigns around it on things like Facebook and Twitter.”
Martin Peters, the chief executive of Leicester Shire Promotions, which is part of the bid team, said: “Tourism was worth over £106million to the local economy in Harborough last year and we would expect a Leicester City of Culture success to grow the volume and value of the visitor economy in Harborough.”
Mike Beech, from Foxton Locks Canal Museum, said: “We want people to visit and if they’re staying in Leicester, Foxton Locks is a good place for them to go for a day.
“I’m sure people will look to see what else is around Leicestershire.”
Visitors would also be expected to help pump money into the town centre’s retail economy.
Market Harborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce president Pete Whelan said: “It is very good publicity and another feather in the cap.
“We have the Old Grammar School, Foxton Locks and Union Wharf.
“There is plenty here to make it a good place to visit.”
The city is up against Swansea Bay, Hull and Dundee, with the eventual winner due to be announced in November.