Lytham Festival creates £9 million boost to Lancashire economy as capacity hoped to increase to 25,000 a day

Lytham Festival 2023 injected more than £9 million into the Fylde coast economy – and 2024 is could be even bigger!

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It was revealed the five-day festival in June created a massive boost for local and UK businesses in an independent report published on Thursday (October 19).

Organisers Cuffe and Taylor jointly commissioned the survey of businesses, residents, visitors and contractors working at the festival with Fylde Council to investigate the economic and social impact during the annual live music event.

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Headline figures from the report show Lytham Festival created £16.8million of incremental income for UK businesses this summer, equating to a gross added value of £9.2million.

Of that, £3.8million was spent with businesses in Fylde and around £2.3million of that was spent on eating, drinking and shopping ahead of attending the events.

Hotels and accommodation also saw a boost, with 4,500 nights booked across Fylde borough and a further 10,500 room nights in Blackpool and other local areas.

Coun Jayne Nixon, Fylde Council Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure & Culture, said: “It is heartening to see such positive responses from people across Fylde in this independent impact assessment.

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“The opinions of residents and business owners are immensely important to us, and this report both illustrates how fondly the festival is viewed locally and quantifies the financial benefits it brings to the borough.”

Of the 41 Lytham-based businesses surveyed, an overwhelming majority reported either a very positive or positive impact on their trade, scoring the festival 9.1 out of 10 for being a ‘good thing for the area’.

Festival-goers also supported the event, rating it 9.5 out of 10 for enjoyment.

57 per cent of people living in Lytham agreed the festival is very good, while 60 per cent of residents also said the atmosphere in the town during the festival was fantastic or enjoyable.

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Welcoming the report findings, Cuffe and Taylor co-founder Peter Taylor said: “A report of this nature is invaluable to us. The economic impact of the festival is brilliant and to hear that local businesses are not only supportive but benefiting from the event is fantastic.

“In addition, to know that the majority of both residents and visitors support and enjoy our festival is great news.

“The report isn’t all about praise for the festival either, it does recognise the impact the festival has on residents’ lives.

“We believe the information provided in the report will provide a benchmark that will help our endeavours to address any inconveniences experienced by our neighbours and to look for and quantify continued improvements each year.

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“With all reports and surveys of this nature it is important to take all points on board and we can use this to further enhance the Lytham Festival experience for residents, businesses and visitors alike.”

The survey was carried out over a period of several months in Lytham.

Fourth Street, an experienced consultancy company carried out similar impact assessments across the UK, including a report for Glastonbury Festival.

Fourth Street commissioned Market Research firm Spiral to carry out the data gathering.

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In addition to the independent surveys conducted during this summer’s festival, Fylde Council and Cuffe and Taylor jointly launched a Lytham Festival Residents’ Forum earlier this year.

The forum gives local residents the opportunity to be part of a formal panel discussing all aspects of the festival.

It has met twice already and members were invited to visit the festival site during the event this year to see the operation in action and discuss concerns directly with the organisers.

Following the granting of a one-year extension to the existing licence to 22,500 for two nights this year, Cuffe and Taylor have submitted an application to Fylde Borough Council’s licensing committee to extend the site capacity to a maximum of 25,000 per day for 2024 onwards.

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They have also agreed a Park and Ride option for car parking that will take pressure away from the road infrastructure in Lytham.

Speaking about the licence increase for 2024, Cuffe and Taylor fellow co-founder Daniel Cuffe said: “We were able to demonstrate to the authorities this year that we could run a safe and well managed event for 22,500 people.

“Our improved partnerships with Blackpool Transport and Northern Rail to get the audience back home safely after the event worked well.

“We’re proposing to roll this out further in 2024 and, taking into account a larger capacity, add a Park and Ride scheme using land in St Annes to accommodate additional car parking numbers should our license application be successful.”