Skip to main content

Two council events generate nearly £3.5m for local economy

Luke Stamper

Luke Stamper

Posted on 31 January 2023

Two events organised by Allerdale Borough Council have received glowing reports as well as generated over £3,450,000 for the local economy according to a report by market research consultancy, Red Research. 

The Taste Cumbria Christmas event, held on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, generated a significant level of expenditure for the local economy, including for local business and Cumbrian producers and vendors. 

It is estimated around 23,000 people attended the event over the weekend, with 41% of visitors surveyed commenting that the festival was a significant improvement on the one held in 2021.

In addition to this, 99% of the attendees who were interviewed said they would come to another, similar event in the future and 98% would also recommend attending to others. 

The festive event also supported local businesses in the town. Red Research asked attendees whether they were doing anything else on their visit. More than 70% said they would be going for a meal or a drink, 65% would go shopping, 18% said they would do some general sightseeing and 7% planned on a walk. 

These additional activities generated additional spend within the town and wider Cockermouth area.

Overall, it is estimated that the total economic impact of the 2022 Taste Cumbria Christmas Festival was £3,406,132. This means that for each pound invested in the event, almost £160 was put back into the local economy. 

In addition to the Taste Cumbria Christmas event, Red Research also carried out a survey at last year’s Workington Hall Winter Light & Sound event, held between 6pm and 9pm on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December 2022. 

This saw the hall and parklands illuminated with festive lights with a soundscape of music, created by West Cumbria-based charity, Soundwave playing alongside. 

Visitors were taken on a journey through Workington’s history through projections of images of the town, supplied by the Helena Thompson Museum. These were projected on to the side of the hall by Cockermouth-based Fluid Productions. There were also a variety of food stalls and fairgrounds for children. 

Red Research’s report revealed that the total economic impact of the Workington Hall Light and Sound event in 2022 is estimated at £57,179, almost double £30,806 for the 2021 event. Although a modest amount, the event aims to develop and grow, encouraging a larger audience, and a higher spend in the years to come. 

The report also calculated that for everyone pound spend on the event, there was a £2.32 return on investment. A significant increase on the return on investment of £1.54 in 2021. 

Commenting on the success of both events, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, Cllr Mike Johnson, said: “Red Research’s report has provided some excellent data surrounding both the Taste Cumbria Christmas, and the Workington Hall Light and Sound events.

“The research proves just how valued these events are to Allerdale residents and to those visiting the borough. It also proves how beneficial they are for local businesses. It’s fantastic to see how well supported the events have been, and I hope to see them grow in success and popularity under the new Cumberland Council come 1 April 2023, and beyond.

“I’d like to thank those involved in organising the events, this success would not have been possible without their invaluable input and expertise”.