What is the Celebrating Durham campaign about?
Durham is fast becoming a go-to destination for many visitors and investors. But what makes it great?
Is it our breath-taking landscapes, buildings, history and heritage? Is it our world-class cultural and sporting programmes including Lumiere, Kynren; An Epic tale of England, the Brass Festival and international cricket at the Riverside? Is it our enterprise and innovation - skills which helped forge the industrial revolution, and which, today, support thriving business and technology hubs and a world top 100 University? Or is it simply the strength and pride of our people and communities?
Our new campaign will shine a spotlight on all of this over the next year through the eyes and voices of the people who live, work, study and do business here.
We're looking for Shining Spirits - individuals, organisations, schools and businesses who demonstrate what's special about the county, whose stories will help showcase everything the county has to offer.
You can read about two of our Shining Spirits in the latest edition of Durham County News.
If you know someone, or something, which fits the bill let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A great place to visit
With a world-class cultural programme, rich heritage and amazing landscapes we're shining a spotlight on what a great vibrant destination the county is for visitors and residents alike. Last year we attracted 18.67m visitors and the value of the visitor economy grew by £17m to £777.5m.
Lighting up days and nights
Amongst our huge and varied , we are proud to have hosted the amazing Kynren; An Epic tale of England in Bishop Auckland for the second time in 2017 and look forward to the return of the UK's largest light festival, Lumiere, for a fifth time this November.
Lighting up the past
We'll be highlighting our rich heritage - the amazing landscapes, buildings and history which make Durham what it is today including Durham Cathedral and Castle one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK, the Durham Heritage Coast and North Pennines AONB and our world-class museums including Beamish, Bowes Killhope, Auckland Castle and Oriental which house collections of national and international importance.
Find out out more about visiting the county at Visit County Durham website.
Great for business, education and employment
Inspiring our here and now
There has never been a more exciting time to do business in County Durham. In the past three years, through Business Durham, 20 multinationals, unique and niche companies have invested in the county and we have supported over 3,400 businesses to relocate, set up or expand; equating to 6,384 jobs and generating £187m for our economy.
Illuminating our future
Educational excellence is also one of our strengths.
Our primary schools are exceeding the national averages for educational standards with several being praised for their excellence in specific subject areas. For example, Cockfield Primary School were in the top 2% in the country for maths. These standards continue into further education with good results recently published for the new format GCSEs and A levels.
Durham University, a world top 100 university, is investing £750million in its facilities and educational programmes. A new University Technical College, for 14-19 years olds, has recently opened on Aycliffe Business Park which is funded by The University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail and Gestamp Tallent.
Other exemplar further education establishments include New College Durham and East Durham College which includes a land-based (agricultural) site at Houghall which has recently undergone a £12.75m redevelopment programme.
What is 'This is Durham, Place of Light'?
The 'This is Durham, Place of Light' identity was developed for Durham in association with the council by its visitor and economic development arms, Visit County Durham (VCD) and Business Durham.
It was developed to shine a spotlight on our wonderful county as a place we should all be proud of; a beacon guiding businesses, residents and visitors alike to this vibrant place.
Durham is an inspiring place, where light connects the county on so many levels - from science, art and technology to business, tourism and the beauty of our breath-taking landscapes. Whilst shining on and shaping heritage, light inspires our here and now and illuminates our future. With a rich and diverse landscape from dales to coast, Durham is brimming with history and vitality and excitement.