Made for the Netherlands. The Cities of Northern England and House of Britain launch the ‘North of England City Experience’

2nd January 2019

The cities of Northern England, comprising Leeds, Hull, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle Gateshead today announce the launch a new multi-city tourism experience in partnership with House of Britain, tailor made for the Dutch market.

All five cities are dynamic, post-industrial cities, founded on the forces of traditional industry, now being re-defined by an exciting cultural renaissance. Through art, music, theatre, architecture, restaurants, nightlife & events they are bursting with experiences housed in richly varied regenerated environments. Each city is naturally unique and has its own personality, yet as a group they combine to deliver a compelling travel offer that is not only culturally rich but also effortlessly travelled and experienced. From Victorian tunnel tours under the River Tyne in Newcastle to the secrets of backstage theatre production at Hull Truck Theatre; shop, eat and drink at Leeds’ former Corn Exchange and take a Skyliner ‘street art’ tour through Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Finesse your musical knowledge and skills in Liverpool, UNESCO city of music and home to the ‘British Music Experience’ housed in the famous Cunard Building

The ‘Experience’ is enabled by an easy-to-buy ‘North of England City Experience’ rail ticket created by Transpennine Express, starting in any city and allowing 4 days travel between the cities over an 8-day period – offering better value than individual tickets. House of Britain will also offer accommodation and sea ferry crossing.

The concept was developed following extensive research* with 25-45 year old ‘buzz seekers’ in the Netherlands.

The research showed what well-travelled savvy millennials

  • UK is the top desired destination in Europe for buzzseekers.
  • 6 in 10 buzzseekers are interested in visiting regenerating cities with an industrial past.
  • UK is the top place people think of visiting when they think of regenerating cities.
  • Buzzseeking millenials prefer city breaks to rural breaks and are curious about seeking out new places with contrasts of ‘old and new’, a variety of activities and multi-city trips.
  • They want trips that offer enrichment – personally and culturally.
  • Welcome inspiration, and enabling offers but don’t want any constraints – they prefer to self-direct.
  • Think Northern England is potentially the ‘real’ England
  • Think united, the five cities become stronger together, making visiting the region much more compelling.

The North of England City Experience project is being managed by Marketing Liverpool on behalf of the ‘Cities of Northern England’ collective comprising the Destination Management Organisations: NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, VisitLeeds, Marketing Manchester and Marketing Liverpool. It is being launched at Vakantiebeurs in Utrecth, Netherlands on January 6th 2019. Packages are available at

Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool said, ‘With only about 50% of buzzseekers having visited northern England, there’s huge opportunity for us to inspire our near European neighbours to come over and take the ‘North of England City Experience’. With easy access into our airports and ports, and hourly services from Transpennine Express, it’s an easy and cost effective way to get an impressive cultural hit. All the cities are close together, walk-able and have a range of accommodation, boutique to high street shopping, and local & independent food and drink. Why not witness the transformation for yourself & soak up the culture, heritage, history, regeneration and transformation of England’s northern cities.

Aad Van Duivenbode, Managing Director of House of Britain said: ‘ With this new exiting 5 city programme including train connections from city to city in the North of England we estimate that this will create new visitors volume for the Dutch market. Together with P&O ferries as the main carrier to the North we are confident that this will be a great success. Consumers can choose to book all cities in one package, however it can be also tailor made.’

The North of England City Experience is one of a number of projects to benefit from the UK Governments £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and has been created to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customer at the right time. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.


Leeds Corn Exchange - credit Vagabrothers


Notes to editors

Contact: Martine Ainsworth-Wells [email protected] 07941 293005


About Marketing Liverpool

We are the city’s destination marketing organisation (DMO) and promote the city region as a global destination for visitors, conventions and investment. It is responsible for communicating the city’s brand positively and imaginatively to local, national and global audiences. We work with our partners in business, cultural organisations, educational institutions and community groups to promote the city as a place to live, work, visit, invest and study.
Marketing Liverpool has an impressive track record in attracting major conferences and events, increasing the number of visitors and improving Liverpool’s reputation as a leading UK business destination.


About the Discover England Fund

• In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
• The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
• The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
o A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
o A smaller funding pot for new one year pilot projects (in year two), and
o Continuation funding for existing year one projects that demonstrated early learnings (in year two).


About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, their mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence statistics visit or and for consumer information.