Independent report reveals how many people attended Hartlepool Tall Ships Races and how many millions the event was worth to town
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The figures have been revealed following an in-depth review of the July event and an evaluation carried out by independent organisation Spirul.
It found the races had a “total economic impact” of £12,531,633 for the Hartlepool economy.
The report also reveals that 118,200 of the 300,000-plus spectators were people from outside the Tees Valley.
Conclusions from the evaluation stated the event “contributed to a significant increase in business activity, creating employment opportunities across various sectors” and “elevated Hartlepool’s regional and national profile”.
It added: “This recognition will help to position Hartlepool as a destination for visitors to come back to and as a host for cultural events.
“The town delivered a four-day festival that has positively impacted on its businesses and residents.”
A council meeting next week is also likely to discuss the £3.446million financial cost of the event.
This exceeded the £2.229million earlier estimated cost, money which came predominantly from Tees Valley Combined Authority along with Arts Council support and £75,000 from the council’s events budget.
Yet council chiefs said they have been able to meet the shortfall by releasing funds found through a review of "unapplied revenue grants”.
Reports note that costs at the races were “kept to the minimum throughout”, evidenced by comparison to the previous event in Hartlepool in 2010, which cost £3.7million.
This came despite “changes to the events landscape and the general economic conditions, which have resulted in a challenging financial position” for the 2023 races.
They added the costs were “nearly £2million less than those incurred by the host local authority of the most recent Tall Ships event held in the region in 2018”.
A report from council officers, which is due to go before the finance and policy committee on Monday, said the event “had an extremely positive impact and it’s important that the council builds on the legacy of the event”.
A “legacy plan” is now proposed to build on the success of the event and the findings in the evaluation report.