Festival of Thrift report shows success and economic benefits of 2017 event

The official report by the organisers of last year’s Festival of Thrift has shown the huge boost the event gives Redcar and the Tees Valley region.

Over 45,000 visitors visited the award-winning event on 23 and 24 September, an increase of almost 30% on the previous year, and independent research showed that they spent on average £27 per head.

This translates to a net economic impact of over £840K for the Redcar economy, supporting 14 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

As the UK’s national celebration of sustainable living, the 2017 event also attracted more visitors from outside the region with 17% of groups surveyed having a visitor from outside the region, up 3% on 2016, and 7% staying overnight for two nights on average.

In addition the event provided a successful platform for entrepreneurial north east businesses, with over 70% of the 140 plus stallholder businesses at the Festival from the north east region and 34% of them from Redcar and the wider Tees Valley region.

Festival of Thrift Director, Stella Hall, said that the report shows the powerful impact of the arts and culture economy.

“We are very proud to create a national festival which invites the world in to make it their own and that has attracted almost 200,000 from across the UK to the Tees Valley area over the past five years.  Last year was our second year working with the people of Redcar and Cleveland and the wider Tees Valley and visitors to our beautiful Kirkleatham site rocketed by over 10,000 on the previous year.

“We are delighted that our wonderful festival-goers continue to embrace our sustainable, unique, fun and uplifting event and that we have also been able to draw positive media attention not just to the Festival, but also to the Tees Valley, the UK’s low carbon capital.

“We recently announced very exciting plans to extend and develop the Festival in 2018 so people should look out for further news in the next few months.”

Councillor Carl Quartermain, Cabinet member for Culture, Tourism and Communications at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “The festival of thrift generated a net economic impact of more than £840,000 and has supported 14 Full Time Equivalent jobs.

“There has been a clear impact in Redcar & Cleveland of increasing pride in place following the Festival which has been a catalyst for change and increase activity.

“Half of our visitors said they spent several hours at the event, with nearly 30 per cent staying the full day and 10 per cent for more than one day. This is an unusually high “dwell time” for a festival and shows there is wide range of activities to keep families involved and active.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s great to hear that this event, celebrating creative making with an important sustainability message, is growing in scale, attracting thousands of people to Tees Valley.

“The economic benefits of its success are already being felt by the small businesses that are involved and this result is proof of the dedication and hard work of the organisers.

“This good news has come just days after we launched the Enjoy Tees Valley tourism service. By collaborating with brilliant events such as this going forward, the outlook of Tees Valley’s visitor economy is bright.”

The 2018 Festival of Thrift takes place on 22 & Sunday 23 September 2018 and includes a new event in August and a special opening event on the Friday evening.

Further details: www.festivalofthrit.co.uk


Media enquiries:

Rachel Smith, rachel@festivalofthrift.co.uk , 07905215712


The 2017 Festival of Thrift Annual Report can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/iho8xvxukzdv75a/FoT%202017%20annual%20report%20copy.pdf?dl=0

A selection of photos from the 2017 event can be downloaded at this link – credit Tracy Kidd Photography: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Festival%20of%20Thrift%20Partner%20Toolkit/2017%20FoT%20-%20Tracy%20Kidd%20Photography

Video of highlights of the 2017 Festival of Thrift: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4l1dQuY3yY&feature=youtu.be




Festival of Thrift Background:

  • The Festival was born in Darlington in 2012 and is growing up across the Tees Valley region, with a move to Kirkleatham, Redcar in 2016.
  • The Festival has won a multitude of awards since starting out, including Best Event Teesside (in 2015 and 2017), Gold as North East Tourism Event of the Year and the Observer Ethical Awards for Arts and Culture, recognising the fact that artists are embedded in the programme as agents for social change.

2018 event + partners

  • The Festival of Thrift will take place on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September 2018 from 10 – 5pm at Kirkleatham Estate near Redcar on the north east coast
  • The Festival of Thrift is located in the tranquil and historic village of Kirkleatham, in and around Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds, a Grade II listed building which dates from 1709.
  • There will be a Festival Launch Parade and Party taking place on the afternoon and evening of Friday 21 September starting in Kirkleatham and processing to Redcar Town Centre.
  • The event is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and enabled through a partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority with further support from SABIC and Teesside University.
  • PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Culture Media and Sport.
  • As part of the event’s thrifty aims people are encouraged to come by public transport. Kirkleatham is on a cycle route with plenty of cycle parking on site and information is provided on the Festival website. There is a bus service (81 and 81A) running every 10 minutes from Redcar Central Station, served by Northern Rail.

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