Business leaders in Lincoln have added an extra show of appreciation for the city’s football heroes, recognising an ‘unprecedented’ surge of interest from visitors in the wake of recent triumphs.
This season saw Lincoln City Football Club promoted from the National League as champions, as well as making history by becoming the first non-league club in more than a century to reach the quarter final of the FA Cup.
Residents, businesses and visitors to the city will be celebrating the spectacular season with an open top bus parade on the evening of Tuesday, May 2.
As the club hit each milestone with building national and international attention, local economic experts watched on with great interest. Some told Lincolnshire Business they have seen a drive in interest in the city.
Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive member for economic development Colin Davie said: “The team has performed so well and as a result of that performance, Lincoln as a place has been elevated in people’s perceptions.
“It is fantastic to hear that so many more people are looking to visit Lincoln in the months ahead and I believe that Lincoln is now firmly placed, and has become one of the leading visitor destination cities.
“The team has contributed enormously to the businesses and economy in Lincoln.
“Associating with the team and their success is an opportunity to sell ourselves to remind people that not only do we have a great football team, but we also have a great world-class business.
“The confidence that already existed has now been enhanced by the performance of the team. They are going places, and the city is going places.”
Lincoln BIG’s Matt Corrigan added: “The win brings a feel-good factor the city, which is good news for businesses. People are likely to go out to celebrate and spend more when they are in a good mood.
“The promotion and particularly the amazing cup run has helped the name of Lincoln to be mentioned nationally and internationally many times, which encourages visitors.
“This effect is hard to quantify, but it is likely to last for some time. Lincoln could be in the record book for years, let’s hope this is just the start of their run of success.”
Lydia Rusling, head of Visit Lincoln, said: “As well as congratulating Lincoln City Football Club I feel compelled to express my appreciation; their success has not only helped put the city on the map but it is also driving an unprecedented influx of visitors to our website visitlincoln.com.
“People want to know more about Lincoln and its surroundings areas after seeing images of our city and Lincoln Cathedral beamed across the globe, thanks to the international TV coverage of football matches.
“Visit Lincoln now needs to harness this interest, along with the resurgence of local pride, and use it as a springboard to success for the whole business community. We will be busy promoting a range of events through a new What’s On Guide and supporting the Lincoln Knights’ Trail with Lincoln BIG.
“To commemorate the success of the Football Club we have commissioned a 36th Lincoln City Knight, signed by the whole football team, which will be a popular edition to the trail and extend the celebrations this Summer.”