Independent research released yesterday (Thursday) reveals for the first time the full extent of Glyndebourne’s significant impact on the East Sussex economy.
The report examines all aspects of the opera house’s contribution, including audience spend, Glyndebourne’s expenditure on wages and with local suppliers and spending by the visiting artists who create and perform in the operas on stage.
It features the following key findings:
EGlyndebourne generates a gross economic impact of £16.2m in East Sussex which translates into a Gross Value Added (GVA) impact of £10.8m; the equivalent of supporting 682 permanent jobs
EIt attracts a large, loyal and relatively high-spending audience into the county who spend more than £11m at local hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions
EGlyndebourne pays more than £3m of wages to employees living in East Sussex
EIt spends more than £1m with Lewes-based suppliers and a further £0.3million with suppliers in the rest of East Sussex
EGlyndebourne brings visitors, artists and jobs to Lewes and its presence has encouraged specialist businesses to start up there
ELocal businesses that work with Glyndebourne say that they have gained revenue, prestige and visitor footfall.
The largest contributor to Glyndebourne’s economic impact comes via audience spend for the annual Glyndebourne Festival. In 2013, 86 per cent of the 98,000 Festival visitors came from outside East Sussex and the findings reveal them to be a large, high value group who would not otherwise visit the area.
Half of Glyndebourne’s economic impact occurs within nearby Lewes for which it generates a gross economic impact of £8.6m and a GVA of £5.4m; the equivalent of supporting 354 jobs in the town. The opera house also supports Lewes’s creative economy attracting specialist businesses to set up there because of the work available.
The new research, commissioned by Glyndebourne and East Sussex County Council, was funded by Arts Council England, East Sussex County Council, Glyndebourne and the East Sussex Arts Partnership.
In response to the findings, Glyndebourne has inserted a new line into its procurement policy committing to sourcing local suppliers first where possible.
This reinforces an existing commitment to considering Glyndebourne’s environmental policy when procuring goods and services which was already leading the company to favour local businesses.
David Pickard, General Director of Glyndebourne, said: “Our location here in East Sussex is a big part of what makes Glyndebourne so special for audiences, staff and visiting artists alike.
“We’re very proud that the company makes such a significant contribution to the local economy and to the reputation of the area as a cultural destination, and look forward to exploring closer partnerships with both local businesses and East Sussex County Council.”
The council’s Rupert Clubb said: “We recognise that we are fortunate to have Glyndebourne as a highlight of our cultural destinations.”