English Tourism Week 2024 is a Visit England initiative celebrating our local tourism industry. This year their theme is all about putting community at the heart of tourism, and in Leicestershire we have an annual event which was created by and continues to be driven by the local community.

The Cosby Yarn Bomb is an annual event running every summer in the small town of Cosby in Leicestershire’s Blaby district and South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa went to meet with the creative crafters there to check on their work to drive tourism and support people’s wellbeing. 

The Cosby Yarn Bomb Festival is an annual event which had around 20,000 visitors in 2023 and this year, marks its sixth anniversary. It was created by, and continues to be driven by the local community.

From its humble beginnings as a voluntary initiative to beautify the small village of Cosby it has now grown one of the county’s ‘must see’ events, becoming an essential part of our annual calendar. 

While it started with just eight volunteers working round the clock to knit, purl and crochet, it now boasts around 2,000 participants, all using their creativity to help transform Cosby for a few weeks. The incredible large scale knitted creations have included everything from World War II scenes, life sized cows, to knitted murals and recreations of favourite films, TV shows and much more.

The Yarn Bomb is now run as a not-for-profit organisation - ‘Gather Create Grow’ - which works to improve mental health and wellbeing in the community. It offers plenty of opportunities to get involved with weekly craft and wellbeing groups, inclusive outreach projects with schools and local support services, as well as free community workshops at special events. 

Alberto Costa MP was invited by Blaby District Council and the Visit Blaby District Tourism Partnership, who work to showcase the fantastic things on offer in the District for visitors and residents. 


Alberto Costa MP 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.” 


A spokesperson for the Cosby Yarn Bomb commented: “We’re delighted to see English Tourism Week celebrating 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, added: “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.” 


This year’s Yarn Bomb will be taking place from 10-31 July 2024, and the village of Cosby will be decorated with incredible knitted and crocheted installations, with the theme of Fun & Games, Mischief & Mayhem.

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