The world’s largest welcome sign – emblazoned with ‘welcometothe.uk’ - has been unveiled at Heathrow Airport.

At nearly 10,000 square feet in size, the sign is 40% larger than the Hollywood hills letters, and will be seen by passengers from 65,000 feet as they descend on the runway.

It has been launched by the internet domain registry Nominet, to mark the launch on Tuesday of '.uk' website addresses.

Eleanor Bradley, chief operating officer of Nominet said: "We’re delighted that Stephen Fry has chosen .uk, given that he’s known for being an early digital adopter. We wanted to welcome him and everyone else to the brand new .uk domain in a big way – so why not do it with the world’s biggest welcome sign?

"The UK is the world's most internet-based major economy and it's certainly one of the most active and fast-changing too – 67% of our current registrations are less than five years old. We can't wait to deliver this addition to the UK namespace and continue to build its contribution to the UK’s digital economy."

The Nominet's sign is 40% larger than Hollywood's
The Nominet's sign is 40% larger than Hollywood's
 

Nominet expects the new domain will appeal to tech-savvy entrepreneurs and start-up businesses wishing to tap into positive 'brand UK’ attributes, such as tech start-up Lowdownapp – switching from a .co – and independent craft lager company Saint Lager, who will be switching from a .com to enjoysaint.uk.

Over ten million existing UK domain holders will be offered first choice on the shorter equivalent of their current address, with five years to decide whether they want to use it in addition to, or instead of, the domain they already have. Nominet will be contacting these customers to ensure they’re aware of their opportunity to exercise this right.

People can sign up for the new .uk domains through domain name registrars, alongside existing domains such as .co.uk or .org.uk. For more information please visit www.agreatplacetobe.uk.