A new university survey has revealed Blenheim
Palace contributes nearly £90m to the economy annually.
The study, which was carried out by Oxford Brookes University, is part of a commitment by the Oxfordshire Estate to triple its economic impact within 10 years.
The survey also found Blenheim Palace is responsible for supporting more than 4,900 jobs. A total of 527 of those jobs are either directly employed by Blenheim (307) or via their in-house caterers Searcys (220).
The new report forms part of a radical 10-year plan devised by the team now led by CEO Dominic Hare which maps out the Estate’s priorities going forward.
“We’ve created an ambitious 10-year plan which underpins everything we are doing at Blenheim and involves everyone and every area of the Estate,” said Dominic.
“One of the key goals is a commitment to triple our contribution to the local economy and the work carried out by Oxford Brookes University will be invaluable in both measuring our achievements and also making informed choices about the positive impact of our businesses on the local area.
“Other targets include housing 300 families in truly affordable homes, becoming one of the UK’s top 100 employers, training over 100 apprentices, becoming a net generator of green energy, increasing paying visitor numbers to 750,000 and doubling our charitable contributions,” he added.
The survey looked at every aspect of the Estate and included; Visitor business, Conferences and Hospitality, Construction and Property, Farming and Game, In-house Catering, Industrial, Mineral Water and Renewable Energy Trusts.
It will be repeated annually to gauge progress towards the ultimate goal of trebling their economic impact within a decade.
Other key findings showed Blenheim spends £17m annually with UK suppliers. More than a third (36%) of which is spent within a 20-mile radius of Blenheim Palace supporting over 1,000 jobs locally.
Of the 600,000 annual paying visitors to Blenheim Palace, nearly 14% stay in the area for more than a day and contribute an average of £336 to the local economy through a combination of accommodation, food and drinks, gifts, transport costs and other expenditure.
If the long-term target of attracting 750,000 paying visitors per annum is achieved it would mean the total local spend would increase to £23m.
Events like the International Horse Trials and Countryfile Live made significant contributions with a combined direct GVA (Gross Value Added) of £12.8m - before taking into account the spend of all those visitors.
Other significant contributors to the overall GVA figure of £89,166,603 included construction investment (£9,514,691).
Blenheim Palace also helped raise £1m for charity between May 2016 and April 2017.
“We’re working hard to do more than ever for our local communities, and this economic impact survey is the first step to measuring how well we are doing on our journey,” said Dominic.
“We’re proud to be part of the local communities and invest in the economic, social and cultural life of those who share it for generations to come,” he added.
A full version of the report will be available to downloadfrom blenheimpalace.com/impact in January
Coventry and Warwickshire’s automotive excellence has been shown off to key figures from the industry from across Europe.
Delegations from France, Catalonia and Sweden visited the Manufacturing Technology Centre to find out about the work being undertaken across the city and the county.
They met Coventry City Council, London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), Aston Martin and Penso and heard about the innovation and developments taking place by the businesses and others in the area.
The delegation also gave presentations on their work and how they could potentially tie-in with the sector in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Delegates from CCI International Hauts-de-France – a body from the north of France – also visited MIRA, the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering and Jaguar Land Rover and have already written to Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce in a bid to develop long-term relationships.
James Ahearne, the International Trade Commercial Executive at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This was an extremely positive couple of days and really helped to raise the profile of Coventry and Warwickshire’s automotive expertise with some key regions across Europe.
“The Automotive Summit gave companies from our patch the chance to find out more about the capabilities and potential partnerships they could strike with the organisations who visited from France, Sweden and Catalonia.
“They were also very keen to hear more about our businesses too.
“It really showed that, despite Brexit, there is a very positive outlook towards Coventry and Warwickshire and there is still huge potential for growth and investment here.
“Within just a couple of days of the visit, we received a note from CCI International Hauts-de-France saying how impressed they were with what they had seen in Coventry and Warwickshire and the real depth we have here.
“They are very keen to strike up new partnerships and relationships with companies here in the city and the county and that is extremely encouraging for us.”
He added: “We have a great story to tell when it comes to the automotive sector in our region and the Summit provided a great opportunity to hear about some of the investments taking place in Coventry & Warwickshire and the fantastic innovative work going on here.
“We’re now looking at how we can take this forward and plan future trade missions and events in 2018 and beyond.”