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East Midlands Chamber News

Richard III worth over £59m to Leicester

Richard III dicoveryAn independent assessment carried out by Nottingham-based Focus Consultants found that the discovery of King Richard lll brought in more than £59m to Leicester’s economy, from the time of the discovery to the reinterment.

The company, based at Phoenix Business Park, discovered that the event proved to be the catalyst for increasing visitor numbers, the launching of new businesses, job creation and higher hotel occupancy.

Associate at Focus, Heather Frecklington, said: “This was a unique event in history. As experts in economic impact appraisals, Focus Consultants was very pleased to be commissioned to be a part of the team that looked at the effect the discovery of the remains of King Richard lll had on the city of Leicester.

“The effects were felt widely on the economy in many ways, including creating jobs and bringing in income.”

Leicester City Council appointed Focus Consultants to carry out an economic impact assessment of the discovery on the tourism and visitor economy. Focus looked at the period from September 2012 to March 20, 2015, leaving out the time of the reinterment which they say would have an unprecedented impact on the city, unlikely to ever be repeated.

Focus analysed a range of indicators including the number of retail businesses established in the city compared to the region; the growth of accommodation and food services; visits to other local attractions including city museums and heritage sites; and hotel occupancy. This was in addition to looking at the King Richard lll attractions in the city.

They calculated that the additional visitors attracted to Leicester as a result of King Richard lll was more than 600,000. They found this had resulted in an increased visitor spend of more than £54.5 million.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The discovery of King Richard lll and his subsequent reinterment has had a greater impact on the city than we could ever have anticipated.

“There is no doubt that we are welcoming more visitors to the city than ever before, and judging by the increased number of visits to our museums and heritage sites they are finding out about the rest of our rich history and not just Richard lll.”

Focus found that around 1,000 full-time equivalent jobs could have been created in the city as a result of the discovery. This is based on a formula developed by Deloitte and Oxford Economics, which states that for every £54,000 spent in the local economy, one new job is created.

They also looked at the value of volunteering to the economy, establishing that more than 8,000 hours worth of volunteering were given, equating to a value of approximately £144,000.

Further calculations using similar data were carried out by the city council to estimate the impact of the reinterment activities. Officers calculated that this period of activity had generated an additional £4.5m for the city’s economy.

Additional figures provided by the University of Leicester estimate that the value of media coverage obtained was £12m (equivalent advertising value), with 366 million people around the globe given the opportunity to see coverage of the discovery and reinterment.

Focus Consultants, which also has offices in Leicester, Holborn in London, and in Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, offers a range of funding and economic development services including area regeneration strategies, funding applications, economic impact appraisals, business plans, and research and evaluation.