Jake Berry, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, stated in April 2019 that counties should create or revitalise their county days as a force for economic and tourism benefit and a means to bring communities together. The benefits of these three facets cannot be denied, if a county day has zest and a zing – as is the case with Northumberland Day.
When well-managed, a county day can evoke tremendous civic pride and the feel-good factor essential in any community or economy. It can deliver sense of place in their county for our children and the citizens of the future, teaching them about the immediate world around them and what makes it special. It can promote harmony and cohesion and be an agent for change, by highlighting similarities rather than differences. It can become the vehicle for an ongoing dialogue with residents and the factor that attracts the tourism spend of visitors.
There is little as powerful at bringing diverse sectors of the community together, often through co-working in the name of the celebration, but also during the celebrations themselves. Each generation, social group, school and segment can be involved, engaged and play their part in a day that becomes a common denominator and a force for inclusion. This is what distinguishes a county day from a festival. It is for everyone, not just for those with a particular interest or hobby. It is a unique and compelling agent for delivering empowerment at a grass-roots level, but only if managed and promoted with the right ideas, language and passion. We have all this. Perhaps it’s time for you to make contact?