Coventry and Warwickshire will feel the economic benefits of the region’s sporting and cultural success for many years to come, according to a leading business figure.
Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the feel-good-factor created by Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021, European City of Sport in 2019 and by attracting events such as the OVO Energy cycle tours to Warwickshire, would bring profile and investment to the area.
She added that the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022 – including events being held in Coventry and Warwickshire – was a further boost.
Louise said: “The news that both the Men’s and Women’s events of the OVO Energy Cycle Tours are coming to Warwickshire is great news for our area.
“Bringing high-profile events such as this are, of course, great news in themselves because they generate a feel-good-factor among residents and businesses about their area.
“But, on top of that, there is genuine economic benefit. When Yorkshire hosted the first stage of the Tour De France, it’s estimated that it brought more than £100million to their economy.
“Of course, we can’t expect a boost quite on that scale but it serves to show that events of this nature provide an economic uplift. The Women’s event, alone, boosted Warwickshire by £2 million on 2017.
“The Commonwealth Games in Manchester is believed to have generated £2 billion in extra tourism revenue for the Greater Manchester area. With the 2022 games taking place in Birmingham, there is no doubt that Coventry and Warwickshire will benefit economically – particular with events at the Ricoh Arena and in Leamington.
“Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 is already having a positive effect with companies investing in the city and quoting City of Culture as one of the reasons for doing so. In terms of positive coverage alone, City of Culture has already generated close to £30 million in media value for the region.
“When David Burbidge, the chairman of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, spoke at our Business & Trade Expo he forecast that the title would create more than 2,000 jobs in the area, while the initial evaluation from Hull is that the year in 2017 boosted the tourism industry alone by £300 million. And we know there will be additional economic benefits on top of that.
“So we have this wonderful period to look forward to when our region will be in the spotlight consistently and will have the attention of the nation and, at times, the world.
“It’s vitally important that we make the most of that and that businesses across our patch know how to turn this potential into genuine growth for their company. If we get that bit right, the region can benefit economically for many years to come.”