‘Grand Tour’ brings £32m in tourism to Derbyshire and Notts

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A programme of cultural events has contributed £32million to Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s economy over the last two years.

The Grand Tour took place over two seasons in 2015 and 2016 and saw exhibitions across Nottingham Contemporary, The Harley Gallery, Chatsworth and Derby Museums. It was funded by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme, with support from VisitEngland and D2N2 LEP.

Research, undertaken by NGI Solutions, used robust methodology and the STEAM visitor value figures for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to create an accurate picture of the significant contribution of The Grand Tour to the region’s visitor economy.

Peter Knott, Midlands area director for Arts Council England said: “The research results for The Grand Tour reflect the very positive feedback already received for the first two seasons and clearly shows the huge impact which happens when the arts, culture and tourism sectors join forces.

“It’s great to see the economic impact of the project locally, The Grand Tour brought together partners from across the region to offer visitors a brilliant mix of the East Midland’s rich heritage alongside new contemporary art. I’m delighted that The Grand Tour will be back in 2018 and I look forward to enjoying the new experiences for cultural tourists.”

The second season of The Grand Tour took place from March to June 2016, and featured Turner Prize-winning artist Simon Starling, along with Sir Peter Blake and influential performance artist Rose English, who showed their work alongside masterpieces from the venues’ own collections. The Grand Tour was complemented by a rich fringe programme of activity, with events and exhibitions at venues including The School of Artisan Food, Nottingham Playhouse and New Art Exchange.

Season one of The Grand Tour resulted in expenditure of £7,584,066, with 461,818 visitors taking part in the programme. Season two enjoyed higher visitor numbers of 1.2million, thanks to the increased awareness of the collaboration. The resulting expenditure was £24.46m, giving a total overall impact of both seasons of £32,225,036.

The evaluation, undertaken by NGI Solutions, used surveys at venues and online to gather feedback, understand visitor profiles and the overall economic impact of the project.