Grand Tourists contribute £32m to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Research has revealed The Grand Tour programme of cultural events and exhibitions in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire contributed more than £32m to the local economy in 2015 and 2016.
The research, undertaken by NGI Solutions on behalf of The Grand Tour consortium venues, used robust methodology and the STEAM visitor value figures for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to create an accurate picture of the significant contribution of The Grand Tour to the region’s visitor economy.
The Grand Tour took place over two seasons in 2015 and 2016, and was funded by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme, with support from VisitEngland and D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)*.
Led by Nottingham Contemporary, the seasons took place across four of the UK’s most distinguished cultural institutions: Chatsworth, Derby Museums, The Harley Gallery and Nottingham Contemporary. They joined forces to create a cultural journey for today’s Grand Tourist. The venues worked with local tourism organisations Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire and Visit Nottinghamshire to deliver a wide variety of exhibitions, attracting new visitors to the region.
The second season of The Grand Tour took place from March to June 2016, and featured Turner Prize-winning artist Simon Starling, along with Sir Peter Blake and influential performance artist Rose English, who showed their work alongside masterpieces from the venues’ own collections – offering an exciting mix of contemporary works and old masters.
The Grand Tour was complemented by a rich fringe programme of activity, with events and exhibitions at venues including The School of Artisan Food, Nottingham Playhouse, Royal Crown Derby, Renishaw Hall and New Art Exchange.
Season 1 of The Grand Tour resulted in expenditure of £7,584,066, with 461,818 visitors taking part in the programme.
Season 2 enjoyed higher visitor numbers of 1.2million, thanks to the increased awareness of the collaboration. The resulting expenditure was £24.46m, giving a total overall impact of both seasons of £32,225,036.
The evaluation, undertaken by NGI Solutions, used surveys in person at venues and online to gather feedback, understand visitor profiles and the overall economic impact of the project.
Research showed that visitors to The Grand Tour were very positive in their recommendations, with more than 8 out of 10 visitors in both seasons saying they were either likely or very likely to recommend a visit. This was also clear in Season 2, with many people saying they’d visited due to recommendations following Season 1.
Two-thirds of visitors to Season 2 said they would return to visit another season, which bodes well for the consortium, which has just received an additional £150K from Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations fund, to present a new programme of cultural events and exhibitions across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire venues in 2018.
Research shows the cultural programme appealed not just to UK visitors, but also international tourists, with 8% of respondents coming from outside of the UK from countries including USA, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director, Arts Council England said: “The research results for The Grand Tour reflect the very positive feedback already received for the first two seasons and clearly shows the huge impact which happens when the arts, culture and tourism sectors join forces.
“It’s great to see the economic impact of the project locally, The Grand Tour brought together partners from across the region to offer visitors a brilliant mix of the East Midland’s rich heritage alongside new contemporary art. I’m delighted that The Grand Tour will be back in 2018 and I look forward to enjoying the new experiences for cultural tourists.”
Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive, Marketing Nottingham & Nottinghamshire, said: “The first two seasons of The Grand Tour clearly had an enormous impact on the local visitor economy, which is terrific news for the region as it helps to deliver local jobs and support local businesses.
“We are now looking forward to building on this success by working with our partners to attract cultural tourists to the region for the third season of The Grand Tour in 2018.”
Sam Thorne, Director, Nottingham Contemporary said: “This clearly demonstrates the value of cultural tourism to our region. It also reflects the amazing work of all the organisations involved in producing such a dynamic and compelling programme. Culture is so important for the visitor economy in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. We’re looking forward to a third season of The Grand Tour in spring/summer 2018.”
*The D2N2 LEP is a private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary organisations promoting economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The LEP identified the ‘visitor economy’ as one of its area’s eight key sectors and invested around £35,000 in the Grand Tour’s two seasons.