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Richard lll effect brings almost £60 million to city

THE discovery of King Richard lll brought in more than £59 million to Leicester’s economy, from the time of the discovery to the reinterment, according to an independent assessment.

It’s estimated that around £4.5 million of this was generated during the two weeks of reinterment activities, which ended with the Leicester Glows event on March 27th.

Leicester City Council appointed Focus Consultants to carry out an economic impact assessment of the discovery on the tourism and visitor economy.

They looked at the period from September 2012 to March 20th 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 millon.

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.

“If the figures are to be believed they are also spending money, and thereby generating growth and new jobs in the area and that is excellent news for residents and businesses alike.

“What we need to do now is monitor the long-term impact of this unique chapter in our history, as I have no doubt that the city’s raised profile and increased confidence that can now be felt here will bring about further opportunities and continued growth and investment.”

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 £4.5 million for the city’s economy.

Although the impact on the county’s economy was not specifically analysed, there was a 40% increase in visitors to Leicestershire County Council’s Bosworth Battlefield visitor centre, taking the numbers to 50,000 per year.

During the reinterment week, 9,500 people visited, up from 2,300 at the same time last year.

County council leader Nick Rushton said: “The county and city worked together extremely well to ensure that King Richard lll had the reinterment he deserved. I’m delighted that the public appreciated this by turning out in huge numbers, boosting the city and county’s economy.

“We will continue to work together to secure a long-lasting legacy from this year’s historic events.”

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

The cost of the reinterment to the local authorities was £484,000 (£272,000 for the city council and £212,000 for the county council), and the University of Leicester spent £32,000.

Leicester Cathedral spent £2.54 million on a major re-modelling of the cathedral’s interior, £2 million of which was raised through a fund-raising appeal. Full details are available at www.kingrichardinleicester.com

Last updated September 2015