A Maryport festival is estimated to have boosted the local economy to the tune of half a million pounds.
An evaluation report into Allerdale Borough Council’s Taste of the Sea Festival, held in Maryport on August 14 and August 15, has given the event a big thumbs up.
The survey found that 65 per cent of those interviewed had made their trip to Maryport specifically for the Taste Festival and that the event had a wide appeal to many different people, including couples, extended family groups, and groups of friends.
Some 60 per cent of people at the event were with their partners, and 36 per cent with other family members.
Around 17 per cent were with friends.
The event attracted both local people and visitors from elsewhere in Cumbria. More than 60 per cent of the people were from the Allerdale area and a quarter was from elsewhere in Cumbria, with one in ten from outside of the county.
Overall, satisfaction with the event was very high. 93 per cent of visitors rated the event very good or good. When asked to rate individual aspects of the event, ratings were also very positive.
Asked if anything would have improved the event in any way, the majority of people gave positive feedback, saying it was great to see the town busy, that they want to see more events, and that it had made them stay longer in town.
Festival visitors made the most of their day out too, with 71 per cent of those interviewed visiting the hot food court and beer tent on the harbourside, and two-thirds listened to the live music at Shipping Brow.
Around 64 per cent had visited the Producers’ Market and almost half the food market stalls. A fifth had visited the children’s fairground and other family entertainment that was on offer.
The total economic impact of the 2021 Taste of the Sea event at Maryport is estimated at around half a million pounds to the local economy. Return on investment (ROI) is calculated at £11.11. This means that for each pound invested in the Taste of the Sea Festival, over £11 was generated for the local economy.
Vendors at the festival said they would trade again at Taste of the Sea. Six out of seven gave the highest rating for how successful they found the event and comments included: “Fantastic event, very well organised”; “Brilliant atmosphere, good turnout”
“Thoroughly enjoyed the event and it was extremely successful for me so not sure how it could have been improved”.
The Visitor Survey and Event Evaluation findings, carried out over the weekend of the event on behalf of Taste Cumbria by Red Research, reported that the visitor numbers were 7,000 across the overall event.
Leader of the council, Cllr Mike Johnson, said: “We received some great, positive feedback about the Taste of the Sea Festival and I thank all of those involved for their efforts in producing a wonderful festival. Thanks also need to go to the customers, residents, businesses and traders who made them such a success.
“We hope to see it becoming a regular event in the Taste Cumbria programme and we hope to repeat this success at our forthcoming flagship event in Cockermouth on September 25-26.”