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Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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News release

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Northbound brings Cockermouth businesses a boost

Wednesday 17 August 2016


Northbound Street Party brought almost £323,000 in to the Cockermouth economy, giving a boost to the town’s businesses that were affected by the flooding in December 2015.

The event, which took place on Saturday 6 August, was attended by an estimated 7,500 people over the course of the day. It saw live music on two stages on Main Street, a bar run by Tractor Shed Brewing of Workington, a range of market and food stalls, and a dedicated children’s area.  Entry to the festival was free, and once the music finished, there were a number of after-parties held in Cockermouth’s many pubs.

Northbound was first held in 2015 at Wellington Farm, based on the outskirts of Cockermouth, however the decision was made to move the festival to the Main Street to increase business and income to the town centre following the floods, and celebrate the spirit of Cumbria. The event was made free to attract a range of visitors who could enjoy both the street party and the variety of trade in the town.

Independent research carried out on the day of the event showed that 78% of attendees travelled to Cockermouth specifically for the festival. Nine in 10 people said they would come to another, similar event in the future and would recommend it to others. The average spend per person at the event was £22.23, with 69% of people saying they would also go for a meal or a drink, and 13% would go shopping on the day, which in turn generated additional spend in the town.

Improvements suggested by attendees included a better variety of stalls, more entertainment for children, plus more seating and toilets.

The event was made possible by a partnership between Carlisle-based CN Events, Allerdale Borough Council and financial assistance from the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Flood Fund.

Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive member with responsibility for economic development, was delighted with the impact of the festival.

He said: “It was important for the local community to bring people back into Cockermouth following the floods and show that it is well and truly open for business. The town has seen great benefit to its economy by bringing the festival into the main street, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the businesses in the town while enjoying the event itself. There has been concern about the effect the floods have had on businesses not only in the daytime, but also in the evenings, so events like these are crucial for showing what the town has to offer.

“Having thriving town centres is a key part of the Council’s agenda, ensuring we make them attractive and welcoming to both local people and tourists, and we feel that Northbound has absolutely ticked all these boxes.”

Marie Whitehead, Director of CN Events, added: “Northbound had a fantastic turnout and the response we’ve had has been overwhelming. There was a great community atmosphere throughout the day and night, and to know that the event impacted so positively on the town has made it really worthwhile.

“The decision to move the festival from the field to the street was made to help the businesses who are recovering from the floods, and, by providing an event that had plenty of entertainment for all ages and interests, we feel we did just that.”

Northbound 2016 key stats:

·           Most people were local to Allerdale (65%), and another 29% were from elsewhere in Cumbria. 6% were from outside the county.

·           77% of parties were adult only. Average party size was 3 people.

·           Almost a third of people had found out about the event through a local newspaper, and social media was also important, with 34% hearing either through Facebook or Twitter.

·           Over 70% of people saw bands on the main stage and visited the market and food stalls. Over half (58%) watched performances on the acoustic stage, and around a fifth went to the after parties.

·           Satisfaction rates were good. Everybody gave the event a positive rating, with 58% rating as ‘very good’, 32% as ‘good’, and 10% as ‘ok’.

·           Suggested improvements centred around more/better variety of stalls, more for children, more seating and more toilets.

·           Nine in ten people (91%) said they would come to another, similar event in future, and would recommend it to others - important given that word of mouth is key in attracting people to this sort of event.

·           Average spend per person at the event was £22.23.

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ