Jane Austen bicentenary worth £21m in Hampshire

A report estimates that 2017’s Jane Austen 200 commemorations helped attract more than one million visitors and contributed almost £21 million to Hampshire’s economy.

The county marked the 200th anniversary of her death last year with events, exhibitions and talks.

Taking part were Jane Austen’s House Museum (pictured), Winchester Cathedral, Chawton House, Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) and VisitHampshire.

VisitHampshire and Hampshire Cultural Trust created a major PR campaign around JaneAusten200, linking it to VisitEngland and VisitBritain’s ‘Year of Literary Heroes’.

The HCT’s exhibition in Winchester’s Discovery Centre – The Mysterious Miss Austen – gave visitors the opportunity to view six portraits of the author under one roof for the first time.

A life-size bronze statue of Austen has become a major visitor attraction in Basingstoke, the borough of Austen’s birth.

The Tourism South East report – commissioned by VisitHampshire and Hampshire Cultural Trust – concluded that the Austen-inspired events and activities had a “clear positive effect” on visitor numbers at various attractions across Hampshire.