A CELEBRATION of Basingstoke’s most famous daughter has generated more than £21 million in tourism revenue.

The economic impact was dubbed the ‘Jane Effect’ last summer when Basingstoke and Deane celebrated 200 years since the death of Jane Austen.

Now a recently published report by Tourism South East (TSE) has concluded last year’s celebrations contributed £21 million to Hampshire’s economy with more than one million extra visitors being attracted to the county to follow in the author’s footsteps.

Along with the Sitting With Jane BookBench scheme which went around the borough, Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) took the lead in celebrating the author’s life and work with an array of event. In collaboration with Jane Austen’s House Museum and many other partners across the county including Winchester Cathedral and Chawton House.

The independent report, which was commissioned by Visit Hampshire and HCT, commented the Austen-inspired “events and activities had a clear positive effect on visitor numbers at various visitor attractions across Hampshire.”

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of HCT, said: “The TSE report is testimony to Jane’s incr”edible legacy and how our county’s partners, museums and attractions embraced Jane Austen 200 to create a wealth of events and exhibitions that attracted huge numbers of visitors.”

She added: “Rather than rest on our laurels, we have introduced a new celebratory theme for 2018 – Creative Genius - highlighting creativity and ingenuity that has come out of Hampshire, with a particular emphasis on technology, engineering and design. August marks the 80th anniversary of the Spitfire being introduced as a fighter plane and it was developed right here in Hampshire.”

In Basingstoke and Deane visitor figures increased by 80 per cent in July 2017, with a daily average of 200 people heading to the Willis Museum, compared with around 80 visitors a day at quieter times.

To find out more about the HCT visit hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk.