MP praises yarn bombers in tourism celebration

Alberto Costa MP Meets Cosby Yarn Bomb Members

Alberto Costa MP, met with creative crafters in Cosby to check on their work to drive tourism as well as support people’s wellbeing.

The South Leicestershire MP visited as part of English Tourism Week (15-24 March) which this year was all about celebrating the part community plays in boosting visitor numbers.

He was invited through Visit Blaby and its Tourism Partnership, an initiative which aims to put District attractions on the map.

The annual Cosby Yarn Bomb has certainly become one of those ‘must see’ attractions, becoming an essential part of the area’s calendar of events.

It started as a voluntary initiative to beautify the small village of Cosby but has grown into a major visitor phenomenon.

It also feeds into wider District life following the creation of not-for-profit organisation Gather, Create, Grow. Members now attend various community sessions aimed at improving mental health and welfare.

Wellbeing hubs are held in Cosby and regular arty workshops encourage all kinds of knitting, crochet and crafting.

The Yarn Bomb itself happens every July and sees the village transformed. Amazing large-scale knitted creations appear everywhere. Everything from life-sized animals to knitted murals and recreations of favourite movies and TV shows adorn the streets.

This year the Yarn Bomb marks its sixth anniversary. Running from 10 to 31 July it boasts the theme Fun and Games, Mischief and Mayhem.

From humble beginnings, with just eight volunteers working round the clock to knit, purl and crochet, it will boast around 1,500 participants.

All kinds of ‘game’, from computer games to the Olympic Games are expected to be used as inspiration, executed with exciting levels of creativity, comedy and community spirit.

Alberto Costa said: "It was a delight to meet some of the people behind Cosby Yarn Bomb. Over the years the team has put on some fantastic displays, with a variety of different themes. The team has put Cosby on the map and shown what can happen when a village comes together to bring joy to those who live within the village, as well as small businesses locally by attracting visitors from outside Cosby. I look forward to seeing many displays over the coming year and would like to thank the team for all their hard work over the last six years."

Mel and Nat, founders of the Cosby Yarn Bomb added: "We’re delighted to see English Tourism Week recognising the part community plays in the country's tourism industry. We are incredibly proud of the way our community comes together to create an event which is celebrated by and attracts visitors from across the Midlands.

"The event brings together local schools, community groups, SEND and mental health support services, residents and businesses. It’s a beautiful, inspiring and free fun day out for all generations which has a positive social and economic impact on the area."

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: "I was delighted Alberto was able to make time in his busy schedule to come along to Cosby and meet the people behind Cosby Yarn Bomb. The festival is a visitor favourite, boosting tourism not only in Cosby but across the district. Their work to decorate the village each summer is inspirational and brings a smile to hundreds of faces.

"It’s that sort of creative fun which people find so uplifting and it’s no surprise then that Gather Create Grow has evolved. Members’ input has become an increasingly important part of our community health and wellbeing schemes. It brings local people together for crafts and companionship, just as it brings visitors together for the Yarn Bomb festival."

Cllr Terry Richardson

Councillor Terry Richardson
Leader of the Council

26 March 2024