St Albans hits the small screen with first ever TV ad

St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral - Credit: St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral is the centre of attention in the city’s first ever TV advert, which aims to attract visitors back this summer.

The video, which is voiced by panto legend Bob Golding, will illustrate why the city is good for a day out or staycation destination.

The advert, which launched on July 15 and will be seen across multiple Sky TV channels until August 13, encourages domestic visitors to “come for the day, then come back and stay”. It has been put together by St Albans BID, who received a £10K advertising grant from Sky to fund the production.

The video highlights St Albans’ unique history and heritage, its vast open spaces, its markets, food and drink and independent shopping, and why it is a safe place to visit in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

It features local businesses and their families, including traders from Infuse, Abigails, Sameer, Chloe James, The White Lion and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks staff, and the drone footage was donated for free.

Co-chairs of the St Albans BID, Cllr Mandy McNeill, portfolio holder for business, culture and tourism, and Sarah Gillow, owner of jewellers Galio, said: “This is the first time St Albans has ever dipped its toe into TV advertising and we are really excited about it.

“Our fantastic city, with its many attractions, shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels, is open again to welcome visitors during the summer and beyond and we really wanted to shout about it and to actually show people the beauty of this thriving ancient place, just a stone’s throw from London, and what it has to offer.

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“The city’s 2,000-year history is rich and dramatic and is a huge draw to visitors. The heart of the city is an 11th-century cathedral, on the site of which Britain’s first martyr and therefore saint was executed, and in which the first draft of Magna Carta was drawn up.

“All of our retail and hospitality businesses have worked hard to ensure that they meet the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The TV advert is the first step in a new strategy to promote the cathedral city as a great place to visit whatever your age or interests.”