Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Festival is worth over £1 million to NE economy

An economic impact study of the 2008 Aberdeen International Youth Festival found that it is worth more than £1 million to the local economy.

The study shows that festival has a £1.2m impact and directly or indirectly supports the creation of 25 full-time equivalent jobs in the North-east.

Based on the annual funding grant from Aberdeen City Council to AIYF, the return to the city and wider area is more than nine times on the initial investment through ticket sales, accommodation, transport and general spend in shops and restaurants.

The study also showed that the festival had a 98% audience satisfaction rating of good or very good. More than 40% of those who did not live locally visited Aberdeen solely to attend the festival. Some 89% of the audience said that they planned to come back to next year’s festival.

The 2008 festival welcomed more than 1000 participants from 14 different countries. They took part in more than 85 events across 30 venues during the 10 days.

It attracted more than 8500 audience members as well as many more at the major free events on Tartan Day and Festival in the City.

There were participants from Switzerland, USA, Hong Kong, Brazil, and China, Some 80% of the young participants indicated they would like to visit Scotland and the North-east again in the near future.

The 2009 festival is already taking shape. Applications from as far a field as Israel, Canada, Spain and Zimbabwe will bring a wide range of orchestral, new music, choral, dance, theatre and visual arts to Aberdeen and the Shire. The 2009 festival will take place between 29 July and 8 August.

AIYF artistic director Stewart Aitken said: “We were delighted with the findings of the report which helped confirm what a lot of people have believed about the festival.

“Even with the difficult economic climate an event such as the Aberdeen International Youth Festival can bring economic benefit to the area thorough cultural engagement.

“I hope we can build on these findings for 2009 festival and increase the impact and benefits the festival has for the population of the North-east, especially through more participatory opportunities for local young people.”

The study was conducted by EKOS Ltd and funded by Event Scotland. Nearly 400 people took part.

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