Thousands of visits generated by West Midlands Open Weekend 2010 celebrations

People photographing self-portraits at New Art Gallery in Walsall

A report launched today by the Cultural Observatory (in association with Arts Council England) has found that local events held in July as part of the London 2012 Open Weekend celebrations generated in excess of 10,000 visits and attracted a total audience of over 46,000.

Our report, London 2012 Open Weekend 2010 in the West Midlands: post-event survey summary report (pdf, 211kb) contains the results of survey research with a sample of event attendees.

Surveys asked whether people were visiting local areas specifically to attend events (as opposed to visiting areas for other primary reasons such as shopping, or visiting friends). Based on the results of this question, we estimated over 10,000 visits were directly generated by events.

Overall, as stated in the report, we estimate events generated over £800,000 worth of economic activity (through attendee expenditure), to the benefit of local businesses and stall-holders. Around £23,500-£35,300 of this spend has been categorised as ‘additional’ – money that has been injected into the West Midlands economy that was not present before.

Figures published in the report also suggest that West Midlands Open Weekend events attracted a diverse audience. For example, the estimated proportion of Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) attendees (20%) exceeds the population average. Also, based on contact form evidence, it can be estimated that at least a quarter of attendees were young people aged between 14–24.

The research, which forms part of the overall evaluation programme for the West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012, will feed into the programme’s next impact evaluation, due to be published in October 2010.

Related links

Photo: Courtesy of New Art Gallery, Walsall. Shows Open Weekend at New Art Gallery Walsall event: self-portrait photo booth activity (July 2010).

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