Heritage venues and those who run businesses in buildings of historic interest are being urged to take part in this year’s Heritage Open Days.

The national event will take place across two weekends – 6 to 9 and 13 to 16 September – and Northampton Borough Council’s focus will be the first of these.

Each year, dozens of buildings across the borough open free of charge to members of the public.

And as always, many of the venues taking part will be connected by a fleet of heritage buses run by Northampton Transport Heritage, offering a free hop-on, hop-off service.

Council leader, Cllr Jonathan Nunn, said: “Heritage Open Days is always a very successful event and we would encourage anyone with a historic angle on their premises to take part.

“Wherever you go in Northampton, if you lift your eyes above street-level you’ll find a wealth of buildings with a story to tell.

“Heritage Open Days allows people to enjoy what these buildings have to offer for free. That, along with the historic buses shuttling visitors around, should prove a real draw.”

Previous participants have included Northampton Guildhall, Hazelrigg House, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Phipps NBC brewery and bar.

Phipps managing director, Alaric Neville, said: “During the last three years, being part of the Heritage Open Days has been a hugely positive experience for all of us at Phipps.

“We value our history and it’s wonderful to see other people gaining pleasure from it too.”

Venues are, of course, welcome to take part in the second Heritage Open Days weekend, though there will be no publicity brochure and the heritage buses will not be running

This year, those wishing to take make their building or location available will need to self-register at www.heritageopendays.org.uk – the process is open until Wednesday, 1 August, though the Council needs to know by Friday, 29 June, which venues are taking part.

Once all participants have registered, the council will produce a publicity leaflet to ensure visitors know where and when everything is happening, along with a bus timetable.

Anyone unable to register directly with Heritage Open Days, or who wishes to discuss the arrangements further, should contact either Suzanne Holmes on 01604 837504 or David Trubshaw on 01604 837634.