Derry’s Millennium Forum is a key visitor attraction for the local area, according to their recent Economic Impact Study.
The study indicated that the total economic contribution of the Millennium Forum to the local economy was in excess of £11 million pounds per annum (£11, 152, 851).
More specifically, visitor spend as a result of attendance at the Millennium Forum is twofold; firstly, by the cast and crew who come to the theatre as part of the shows which are on tour and, secondly, as a result of audiences attending shows.
During 2009/10, 1,541 bed nights were generated from visiting artists and crew to the Forum resulting in a conservative estimate of £250,690 in spend from this source.
The number of bed nights generated from audiences attending shows is more difficult to quantify but, according to Helen Stewart of The Garvan O’Doherty Group, it is ‘significant’:
“The Millennium Forum plays a very important role within the North West.
“Their ability to attract a wide array of talent has assisted the Waterfoot Hotel & Da Vinci’s Hotel in promoting the city to many new customers who are looking for a range of great entertainment,” she said.
“Working with the Millennium Forum on hotel theatre packages has enabled us to provide an attractive, affordable proposition to customers from all over Northern Ireland.
“The Millennium Forum has become a landmark that the community is proud of as it has helped to keep Derry as a top tourist destination through the attraction of artistic and cultural talent.”
The Study also considered the total economic benefit arising from meetings and conferences in the Forum and deemed this to be in the region of £186,580.
Chief Executive of the Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau (DVCB), Catherine O’Connor, said: “Business Tourism is a specialist sector and has been highlighted in the City’s Tourism Strategy as one of the key drivers in the development of the Tourism Industry.
“It is also priority for DVCB and we will continue to work closely with the Forum and other venues to secure this lucrative business.”
Forum Chairperson, Martin Bradley, said: “We knew that our venue was a top attraction for visitors to Derry and the region but this study has helped us to quantify just how successful we have been in this regard.
The Millennium Forum has proven to have significant impact upon the local economy.
“In light of this success and the city’s success in the bid for the UK City Of Culture title 2013, we hope to build on our position for our 10th birthday this year and develop our offering beyond this time.”