WHEN Goodwood’s festivals are in full swing, there are often complaints from residents about traffic and disruption.
But the Revival brought in a staggering £12m last year, according to the latest independent study. So is it worth it?
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) teamed up with Brighton University, to assess the economic value of the Goodwood Revival festival.
Researchers studied the area within 20km of Goodwood. This covers most of the Chichester district, including Chichester city, the Manhood Peninsula to the south, as far north as Fernhurst, Havant in the west and Angmering in the east, meaning Bognor Regis, Arundel, Midhurst and Emsworth are all part of Goodwood’s economic reach.
The FBHVC study found the annual festival brings £12m of business to the local area in just three days, and in addition, a further £32m turnover for the national UK economy, with £4m to the government in VAT.
Referring to the report, Lord March said: “It seems like only yesterday when we launched the Festival of Speed in the grounds of Goodwood House as the first step in our efforts to revitalise motor sporting activities on the Goodwood Estate, but that was 20 years ago. The first Goodwood Revival followed just five years later.
“One of those obstacles we faced in those early years was planning control. We argued that allowing motor racing on a limited number of days in the year would enable us to invest more in the Goodwood Estate and that would bring long-term benefits to the local community. We know we have been successful.
“We know all this work has put the Goodwood Estate in a strong position. It has safeguarded employment for many local people for many years to come, and we can quantify all of those things.
“It is also obvious that the Goodwood motor sport events bring benefits to the area too but, until now, we have only been able to think of these in qualitative terms.”
He said the report: “Opened the window on what we could previously only imagine, and the work has shown that the Goodwood Revival alone brings substantial spending to our part of the country that wouldn’t otherwise have come here.”
The study was compiled through three different methods. Event organisers were asked about the income and expenditure and the numbers of people involved. Secondly, a team from the University of Brighton questioned members of the public at the festival to determine their expenditure both at the event and elsewhere within the study area, and 1,045 usable responses were collected. Finally, members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club, competitors and crew, officials and exhibitors were invited to complete the same questionnaire, which gave them a further 387 responses.
The number of people who attended the festival, either as a visitor or as a member of crew, totalled 145,398. Members of the public made up 63 per cent of visitors with the rest being members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club, competitors, crew, officials, sponsors, VIPs, press, hospitality and catering staff.
Of the people who returned their questionnaire, 90 per cent said they would return to the festival in the future, suggesting Goodwood’s events will be a long-term employer and boost for the local economy.
The study revealed Goodwood Revival generates more than 23,000 ‘person nights’ of accommodation for local hotels and guesthouses – nights per person. The festival also produced a further 25,000 ‘person nights’ outside the 20km-radius study area.
The event also led to direct temporary employment for more than 350 people.
We asked residents what they thought, and Vicky Watkins said: “I think it’s very good because it brings a lot of people in. I don’t think it does cause much disruption.”
Paul Chase said: “Without any question, the local economy needs as much money as it can get. It is a unique and beneficial event and attracts lots of people to the local area.”
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