A New Task Force Is Looking Into Heritage Events In Rugby Town Centre

Here’s Our Ideas


The town centre heritage task group is asking for comments on:

  • the extent to which the current town centre events programme focuses on heritage;
  • improving access to information about attractions and activities;
  • reviewing the blue plaque scheme;
  • investigating the use of technology.

Cllr Kathryn Lawrence, chair of the task group, said: “Rugby has a rich cultural heritage covering sport, politics, literature, engineering and the arts.

“There’s already lots of events and activities that celebrate our heritage, including the Festival of Culture, the blue plaque scheme and the volunteer-led walking tours.

“We are interested in exploring how well these are working, how we could make more of our heritage, and whether there is a role for technology to make our heritage more accessible.”

The review follows the council’s recent adoption of its new corporate strategy, which identified tourism and the visitor economy as one of its priorities along with a new strapline “proud of our past, fit for the future.”

So far the task group has heard that the recent launch of new town centre branding and a new visitor website (www.therugbytown.co.uk) had brought renewed focus to promotional activity, with several organisations now working together.

Future meetings of the group will review feedback from residents and businesses, along with a focus on each of the four topic areas listed above.

Interested residents, businesses and organisations can view a summary of the task group’s objectives and a feedback form at www.rugby.gov.uk/heritagereview.


What We Could Host


Balloon Festival of Helium

The noble gas was discovered by the town’s Norman Lockyer in 1868. We think the gas could be the basis of a fun festival to give the town ‘lift’. Maybe prominent sculptor Jeff Koons could donate one of his dog sculptures?


Rupert Brooke Poetry Festival

The renowned war poet was born in Rugby. He was a prominent figure in poetry from World War One. The ‘Rupert Brooke Festival’ could include famous living poets visiting the town to read poetry. Could turn into a festival of literature.


Mad Hatters Tea Party

Lewis Carroll gave the world one of the most famous of all children’s books – Alices Adventures In Wonderland. Why not recreate the famous tea party and close Regent Street to host a giant table and serve tea and cakes. A white rabbit could lead guests to the event.


Celebrate Jet Power

A live jet engine could power up and thrill the crowds to produce a deafening roar as various aircraft whine overhead. Sir Frank Whittle’s work will be honoured in the town where the first plans for the mighty machine were drawn up.


Festival of Rugby Sport

Seems obvious but at the time of writing the town has never hosted a public festival devoted to the game. The closest was the FanZone during The Rugby World Cup in 2015. A similar scale could be re-created annually to the enjoyment of families from around the world. There are plans in 2017 to host an event on Rugby School’s Close rugbyfestuk.com/.


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