Birmingham wins major funding for campaign to attract international visitors in 2016

Midlands regions collaborate to mark William Shakespeare’s milestone 400th anniversary

A Midlands-based tourism partnership comprising Marketing Birmingham, Shakespeare’s England and Leicester Shire promotions, has successfully bid for £174,000 of funding from VisitBritain, through the GREAT UK Challenge Fund. The grant will support a major ‘Shakespeare 2016’ tourism campaign aimed at attracting visitors from North America and other key international markets to the East and West Midlands.

Next year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. The campaign will use this milestone to promote the region's connections with Shakespeare and his literary works. Marketing Birmingham and its regional partners will deliver PR and marketing activity, as well as an engagement programme targeting oversees school and university groups, in order to globally showcase the heritage sites, attractions and world-class curriculum linked to the playwright.

The Birmingham Arts Partnership’s ‘Our Shakespeare’ campaign will form an integral part of the city region’s Shakespeare 2016 initiative, with local arts and educational institutions exhibiting an exciting programme of events to celebrate the globally-renowned creativity that exists in the region.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Marketing Birmingham, said:

This is a huge boost for Birmingham, and a fantastic opportunity to work in close partnership with the surrounding Midlands regions, to develop the enormous potential Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary presents for both the local and national economy.
From Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford, to the Library of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Collection comprising more than 44,000 books – the Midlands boasts a number of distinguished heritage sites associated with the world’s most famous playwright. Targeting both domestic and key international markets, 2016 presents an invaluable opportunity to capitalise on the region’s rich ancestry; reinforcing its status as a global destination for heritage tourism.

Gemma Goddon, Marketing & Communications Manager at Shakespeare’s England, said:

We are currently preparing for one of England’s most landmark celebrations in recent history. With the support from the Great UK Challenge Fund, we’ll once again see the Midlands working together to harness the power of Shakespeare’s heritage to attract visitors, drive business and boost the local economy.
Stratford-upon-Avon is home to Shakespeare’s five family houses including his Birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Visitors can also enjoy the contemporary works of the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company on stage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatres.
The legacy of William Shakespeare has been drawing tourists from the worlds of literature, theatre, and academia for well over 200 years. We must now capitalise on this milestone anniversary and provide a memorable experience throughout 2016 for visitors from across the globe.”

Targeting both travel trade and consumer audiences, the 2016 campaign will focus on North America but will also promote travel from other key international markets including Brazil, China, France, Germany, Gulf States and India, as part of a wider VisitBritain tourism campaign. Other key events taking place in Birmingham next year include the return of the Conservative Party Conference, the 40th anniversary of the NEC and the International Dance Festival Birmingham.

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions, said:

We're delighted to be working in partnership with our colleagues in the Midlands to promote this major milestone. We have always recognised that our visitors enjoy exploring beyond boundaries, enjoying the breath of attractions on offer across the region. We are proud to be playing a leading role in this new way of thematic working.
The joint offer is a particularly strong one for international visitors and the award of funding from VisitBritain means that we can really extend the reach of the campaign.
The reinterment of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral in March 2015 drew global media interest. Visitors have come from all over the world to witness the fascinating story of the search and discovery of the King's remains and we're confident that by promoting the obvious connections with the literary works of Shakespeare, we can build on this interest from international visitors.

In "RESOURCES"

Essentials

Maps & Guides

Maps & Guides for your visit.

Read More

Getting around

Getting around Birmingham couldn’t be easier...

Read More

What's on

Search for places, events & accommodation...

Read More

Festivals & events

Take a look at what’s on now and coming up here...

Read More

FROM TWITTER

RT @BhamPhotoFest: EXTRA TICKETS RELEASED!! The original allocation of 100 tickets sold out in no time at all! As a result of this demand w…

RT @BM_AG: We're pleased to share this great news! Over a quarter of a million people visited #DippyonTour spending £4.2million in the city…

RT @JQBID: It's official, we have some truly amazing pubs in the #JQ 🍻! As featured in today's @birminghampost the @CAMRA_Official Good Bee…

Sporting highlights

All sporting events

There’s always something, or someone, to cheer for here

Read More

Culture

Art Galleries

Birmingham’s art collection is as wide as it is impressive. 

Read More

Stage & Screen

From touring West End shows to showcasing local talent.

Read More

Music

A huge arena tour or an intimate gig?  You’ll find it here.

Read More

Film

Multiplexes, the UK’s oldest working cinema or art house cool?

Read More

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

A vibrant museum in the heart of the city with over 40 galleries.

Read More

Dance

A diverse range of dance groups and venues.

Read More

See More, Feel More

Come, stay and soak up the culture in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

Read More

Shopping

Shoppinginbirmingham.com

Plan the perfect shopping trip with full store, centre and brand directories.

Read More

Shopping centres

From the world-famous, 21st Century Bullring to the Victorian elegance of the Great Western Arcade.

Read More

Vibrant streets

Linking the centres are Birmingham’s bustling shopping streets, packed with major brands and boutique independents.

Read More

Markets

Don’t miss Birmingham’s amazing markets – whether it’s the 850-year old Bullring markets or the...

Read More

Jewellery Quarter

Home to more diamond rings, finishing touches and tokens of love than anywhere else in...

Read More

Getting Married in Birmingham

We have everything covered from the rings right up to the venue itself.

Read More