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Taste of the Sea’s £1 million boost to the economy

Luke Stamper

Luke Stamper

Posted on 01 September 2022

Almost £1 million came into the Cumbrian economy as a result of the Taste of the Sea festival in Maryport. 

The event, which took place over the weekend of 13 and 14 August 2022, saw an estimated economic impact of £996,168, more than double that of the 2021 event, which boosted the county’s economy by £453,682. Almost £25 was generated for every pound spent on hosting the event, compared to £11 last year. 
An independent study by Kendal-based Red Research said around 12,000 people came to the festival, with 89% of those who came to the first Taste of the Sea event in 2021 saying this year’s food and drink extravaganza was even better.  
The aim of all the Taste Cumbria festivals, which are organised by Allerdale Borough Council, is to promote this area and encourage visitors to explore the towns, as well as the wider area. Those surveyed at Taste of the Sea were asked if they would be doing anything else apart from visiting the festival. 87% said they would be going for a meal or a drink, 48% would go shopping (up from 30% in 2021) and 46% said they would do some general sightseeing. 
In total, 228 surveys were completed, with groups representing 601 adults and 116 children. 99% of people interviewed said they would like to come to another similar event in future and 99% would recommend the event to others. 85% of those interviewed had made their trip to Maryport specifically for the Taste Festival, up from 65% in 2021. 
The Taste of the Sea festival, which welcomed Maryport Town Council as its main sponsor, included two days of food, drink, film, laughter and family fun. Attractions included a Producers’ Market on Senhouse Street, and a hot food court, festival marquee drinks tent, live music and a picnic field down on the harbourside. That area was also used to promote fish and seafood, alongside a young entrepreneurs’ market and chefs’ demonstrations too. 
Councillor Mike Johnson, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council,said: “This positive economic impact is a fabulous result and is one of the reasons why hosting the Taste Cumbria festivals is so important to the council. I look forward to seeing them get bigger and better. 
“Thank you to this year’s main sponsor Maryport Town Council. I’d also like to thank Taste of the Lakes fine food producer, Grants Oak Smoked salmon specialists, Maryport Business Group, Maryport Round Table, Vici for the use of their demonstration trailer, and Maryport Harbour Authority for the use of their land.” 
There are two more Taste Cumbria festivals this year. The event will be back in Cockermouth on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September then the Taste Cumbria Christmas Festival takes place on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December. 
See the Visit Allerdale website for more details.