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Events bring £3m boost to Torbay's economy

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

Super Weekend

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EVENTS and festivals in Torbay brought in more than £3million to the local economy last summer.

The team from Torbay Council's @creativetorbay has put the Bay's event programme under the microscope.

They say 11 events, exhibitions, opera, and festivals were subjected to rigorous analysis including feedback from those taking part.

Among those evaluated were the Paignton Children's Festival, the Welsh National Opera, the Super Weekend in Torquay, the Agatha Christie Festival and Afloat — Art on the English Riviera. The research estimated organisers and those taking part spent nearly £3million in the Bay and had around £1.9million economic impact.

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This work has built upon the previously published evaluation work carried out by the @creativetorbay team on data for individual cultural projects over the past five years. The team crunched 4,344 postcodes, conducted 550 face-to-face interviews, and analysed 355 in-depth online surveys to explore whether the events generate visitors to Torbay and measure their economic impact.

They also looked at whether the events were popular with under represented groups, whether a return on investment could be measured, whether events were well received, whether they could learn from audience feedback.

They also looked at whether they could learn from the findings and disseminate good practice, whether there were gaps in provision and where they should focus their resources.

The study showed large, free public events are an important part of the annual events mix and can bring in footfall to the area and have a positive economic impact.

They concluded Torbay should focus on working with reputable and national/international organisations for maximum impact.

Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver, said: "Events are an important driver for tourism in the Bay as well as offering our residents the opportunity to be part of a rich cultural heritage.

"We value the range and the quality of the events our partners deliver, which complements the events programme the council stages to attract visitors and entertain the local community. This report shows how we can build on our success and enhance our services for the future."

Torbay Council's executive lead for culture and the arts, Cllr Dave Butt said: "This excellent report shows the value of quality cultural events in Torbay, both in terms of economic benefit and cultural enrichment.

"We need to build on the success of our vibrant events programme which offers something for everybody, by looking closely at these findings to deliver the best of what our residents and visitors have told us they like to see in Torbay."

Torbay Council's Creative Torbay officer, Mischa Eligoloff, said: "The evaluation of postcodes enables the council to see exactly the cross section of demographics the people attending the event come from.

"I urge events organisers in Torbay, whether they are volunteer-run or commercial, to use this free data resource.

For further information visit http://creativetorbay.com/creative-torbay/summer-of-data-major-evaluation-report-events-in-torbay/

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