Higham Ferrers Tourism, Business and Community Partnership

How did we start?

Higham Ferrers Tourism, Business and Community Partnership was set up in 2002 by a group of volunteers who live locally and who are willing to devote time and energy to promoting the town, through tourism and regeneration activities.

The group works in partnership with local businesses, the Town Council and community groups, to stimulate interest, growth and community cohesion, and thus to support, facilitate and co-ordinate activity within the town.

Our committee is made up of people who encompass a wide range of interests in the town, including being members of the Town Council, and St Mary’s Church.

Which heritage sites do we manage?

Tourism has an agreement with English Heritage to manage two important heritage sites in the town and has made improvements to both.

  • Chichele College – this 15th-century building is not only used by a number of groups on a regular basis, but also now has a well-established medieval garden. Tourism has raised funds to improve the toilet facilities, providing disabled facilities with suitable access, and to restore the Cloister Garth garden area in 2012.
  • Dovecote – located at the rear of the Green Dragon pub, this 16th-century site has been renovated twice, the last time being in December 2013. 

How do we raise money?

To fund such improvements we arrange or contribute to, a number of town activities:
  • Secret Gardens of Higham Ferrers – where approximately 16 gardens are opened each year in June 
  • Christmas Sparkle – a winter fair, which was originally started by Tourism and is now a community wide event, bringing over 3000 people into the town 
  • Chichele Garden Fair – brings together like-minded gardeners to enjoy talks and exhibitions, and a chance to buy plants and garden accessories
  • Cheese and Wine evening – directly benefits a local business in the town
  • Winter Film Nights – a season of Classic Films with Fish and chips and a licensed bar, shakes off the winter blues
  • Town-wide Garage Sale – provides eager bargain hunters with the opportunity to walk round the town while giving local residents a chance to sell on their unwanted goods.
  • Medieval Day, Queen’s Jubilee, Birthday and other celebrations in the town – together with the Town Council, we help to ensure the smooth running of these events.

Where does the money go?

We have provided, and contributed to, many community-wide projects:
  • replacement of Market Square trees
  • directional Finger signs in the Town Centre
  • disabled friendly toilets at Chichele College
  • over 80 Christmas Trees on shops, businesses and houses in the centre of the town
  • entertainment for the Christmas Sparkle, Summer Celebrations and Medieval day events
  • renovation of the bells at St Mary’s Church
  • start-up grant for The Friends of St Mary’s 
  • with the help of the Library who have kindly donated space, the town’s Visitor Information Centre is available to all
  • planting spring bulbs around the town
  • flowers and flower troughs in the High Street and Market Square
… and provided a variety of entertainment for visitors and residents of all age groups.