Research reveals Glyndebourne's multi-million pound impact on the East Sussex economy

Posted On

Independent research released today reveals for the first time the full extent of Glyndebourne’s significant impact on the East Sussex economy.

The report examines all aspects of Glyndebourne’s impact to reveal how it supports the local economy. This includes 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.

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.

The report, launched today at Glyndebourne, features the following key findings:

  • Glyndebourne generates a gross economic impact of £16.2m in East Sussex which translates into a Gross Value Added (GVA)1 impact of £10.8m; the equivalent of supporting 682 permanent jobs
  • Glyndebourne attracts a large, loyal and relatively high-spending audience into East Sussex who spend over £11m at local hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions
  • Glyndebourne pays more than £3m of wages to employees living in East Sussex
  • Glyndebourne spends over £1m with Lewes-based suppliers and a further £0.3million with suppliers in the rest of East Sussex
  • Glyndebourne brings visitors, artists and jobs to Lewes and its presence has encouraged specialist businesses to start up there
  • Local 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% 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.

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.”

Rupert Clubb, Director for Communities, Economy and Transport at East Sussex County Council said:

“East Sussex County Council is aware that we have a county with an extraordinarily high quality cultural offer. We recognise that we are fortunate to have Glyndebourne as a highlight of our cultural destinations. This study demonstrates its value both as an employer, a part of our tourism offer and also in terms of the contribution Glyndebourne makes to the local community. We welcome the findings and look forward to working with Glyndebourne more closely in the future.”

Download the report here.

1 Gross Value Added is an economic measure of wealth generation and is related to Gross Domestic Product