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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Lakes Alive festival made £3m for Cumbria's economy

An arts festival in Cumbria that celebrated the 2012 Olympics generated £3m for the county’s economy.

Lakes ALive photo
Ilotopie's Fous de Bassin (Water Fools). Photo: ©Klaus Tummers

Lakes Alive, which featured street parades and a show performed entirely on Derwentwater, also attracted 50,000 visitors during its summer run.

The results of a study, for organisers Kendal Arts International, also found 15,000 visitors were from outside the county.

Julie Tait, from Lakes Alive, said the report showed Lakes Alive had made a “significant contribution” to tourism. She said: “It encouraged more overnight stays and boosted cultural and general tourism.”

Highlights of the festival included Water Fools, a surreal night show performed on Derwentwater; Masquepony, a small scale, family friendly festival in Cartmel and Mintfest, one of the country’s largest street arts festivals.

The study, by Helen Corkery Research and Marketing, found that for every £1 spent on the events, £3.50 was generated for the Cumbrian economy. Surveyors questioned 922 people at the various events, asking them what they thought of the events, how much money they spent, and where they were staying and whether they would visit again.

The report said three quarters of audiences from outside the region, and two thirds from overseas, cited the events as their main reason - or one of several - for visiting.

“These findings continue to illustrate the role that Lakes Alive events have in drawing visitors to the region,” it concluded. “A third of festival goers were from outside Cumbria and 11 per cent were from outside the north west.”

Organisers said plans for further events in 2013 are being finalised.

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