Agenda item

    Events and Festivals in Lichfield City - Economic Impact

    Minutes:

    The Committee received a report on the work that had been taken to date, as part of a commission to assess the economic impact of key events and festivals that take place in the city.  It was reported that the Council delivered some of the events but most were carried out and funded by partner organisations.  It was then noted that the assessment would determine the impact of the growing events and festivals were having on the city, local businesses and Council services.

     

    The Committee discussed safety at the events and wished to know how they were managed as Members had received complaints from residents.  There was concern that there could be bad press that would impact on the success of event.  It was reported that there had been no incidents and that was in part due to the work of the Environmental Health team.  Hot spots for bottle necking of crowds were known and ways to manage this were discussed with event organisers and partners of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) but it was noted that access for emergency vehicles was required.

     

    The Committee then discussed the benefits of visitors returning to the district after coming to events and it was noted that did happen and this was the positive for local businesses.  When asked, it was noted that the businesses in the BID would be surveyed as part of the wider commissioned work.  It was requested that email reminders to fill out the survey be sent to maximise return.

     

    Subsidising events was discussed and it was noted that when events began, the Council supported them as part of the normal day to day regime for example street cleaning however these events had grown and charging for these services were happening and although not well received by organisers, no subsides were possible. It was noted that the data from the commissioned work would guide and justify any decision.

     

    Benefits come from whether shops stay let and we get rates etc.  if they closed through lack of support we would in the end lose as couldn’t keep services going.

     

    Members had concern regarding a saturation point of events where it becomes harmful to the area and only eatery/public houses prosper.  Members quoted issues seen in York, Devon and Venice as examples.  It was noted that this would be kept under review and the number of empty shops would be an indication to this saturation.  It was noted that currently the level of empty shops were lower than the national average.

     

    Members recognised the lack of hotel accommodation in the District and it was noted that this was being addressed but it was requested that the subject be part of the survey.  It was agreed that provision would attract more visitors and potentially coach operators to do offer full weekend trips and not just quick stop offs.  

     

    The Committee noted that general operational issues would be considered by the Leisure, Parks and Waste Management (Overview & Scrutiny) Committee.

     

    RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

    Supporting documents:

     

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