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