Massive boost to Portsmouth economy as 2016 Victorious Festival pulls in £8.4m

This year's Victorious Festival Picture: Alberto Baucis
This year's Victorious Festival Picture: Alberto Baucis

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PORTSMOUTH has scooped a £8.47m jackpot thanks to this year’s star-studded Victorious Festival, The News can reveal.

That’s a £2.5m increase in total economic benefits heading to the city compared to the 2015 Southsea Common spectacle – as mega crowds poured in to see music royalty including Noel Gallagher, DJ Mark Ronson and Manic Street Preachers perform on the grand stage this summer.

It’s important for Portsmouth that we nurture good, strong, growing businesses like Victorious Festival Limited.

Victorious Festival co-director James Ralls

That takes the total cash benefit to the Portsmouth region from cultural events staged in 2016 – a year that’s featured a revamped America’s Cup World Series – to £48.27m.

And in a win for the economy, Victorious bosses have pledged to work hard to pull in bigger benefits and roll out further improvements next year.

A 61-page independent dossier by Bluegrass Research into this year’s Victorious saw total attendance soar to 113,413 over the two days, compared to 99,658 last year.

Visitors splashed the cash to the tune of £5.46m, up from £3.4m.

That combined with the amount spent locally by bosses pulling together the spectacle – £1.059m – and the direct and wider impact to the economy brings the total benefit to Portsmouth to £8.47m.

Victorious co-director James Ralls said: ‘I’m very happy with the way we keep increasing our contribution to the local economy every year.

‘In 2017, with the added Friday, I’d like to see even more economic benefit to the area.

‘Hopefully all of the people who came to Victorious Festival from outside the city will have enjoyed it so much they will come visit us again, and take in some of the other great attractions and events locally.

‘It’s an exciting time to be part of a growing cultural scene in Portsmouth, so many good local bands and artists are emerging that there is no excuse not to get out to a local gig or gallery.’

A summary of the report says: ‘Increased ticket sales, alongside an increasingly higher proportion of non-resident and overnight visitors has boosted the direct economic impact of the festival, estimated here to be £6.52m, rising to a total impact of £8.47m when the wider subsequent economic benefits are factored in.

‘The city benefits from non-residents’ positive experiences of the festival – the large majority were positive about Portsmouth as a place to visit and again this is positively impacted by the festival, as is their likelihood to return for future visits to the city.’

But the report highlighted popularity regarding ‘several aspects’ had ‘dipped’, including toilet facilities, which continue to be a weaker aspect of the event’.

‘The perception of value for money in particular has dropped, although most do still feel the festival does represent good value,’ it added. The findings come as city leaders prepare a ‘Portsmouth portfolio’ for promoters in the hope of luring more premier attractions to the region, which could trigger the creation of a world-class Sherlock Holmes Museum attraction.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, welcomed the findings.

She said: ‘It’s important for Portsmouth that we nurture good, strong, growing businesses like Victorious Festival.

‘Victorious, a Portsmouth business, has gone from strength to strength, and for last two years has been nominated the best major music festival and came runner-up on both occasions.

‘With the likes of Bestival re-locating, this has opened up a significant opportunity for Portsmouth and the sub-region in 2017.

‘The city works closely with Victorious.

‘The positive impact it has brought in terms of increasing visitor numbers and increasing its economic impact in one year by £2.5m, on top of the benefits it brings in for local businesses, hotels and restaurants, proves that Portsmouth is a fantastic place, and a fantastic city in the UK.’