Fantasy fiction fans are expected to bring at least £500,000 into the local economy when they stage the world’s largest event of its kind in Brighton.

More than 1,000 writers, readers and publishers are expected to attend the World Fantasy Convention next autumn.

The international conference attracts thousands of fans and has only been held outside North America twice before, both times in London.

Organisers feel the city is a more suitable location than anywhere else in Europe, and attendees are expected to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds during the event from October 31 to November 3.

Difficulties Organiser Stephen Jones said: “It has been clear for some time now that we are long overdue for another one in the United Kingdom.

"However, there have been difficulties finding a suitable location and venue in the UK that can handle not only a convention the size of World Fantasy, but also one that is of the standard to be expected by the many professional attendees who participate in the event.

“After detailed investigations into suitable sites in the UK and mainland Europe — including Edinburgh, Oxford, central London and Paris — we feel that we have found the perfect location with the Hilton Brighton Metropole.

“This venue is more than large enough to accommodate a convention the size of World Fantasy. In addition, the surrounding amenities are second to none.”

International appeal

Geoffrey Bowden, the chairman of Brighton and Hove City Council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “It’s fantastic news that the World Fantasy Convention is coming next year.

“It speaks volumes about the international appeal of the city and I’m sure the hundreds of writers, publishers and fans who are expected will enjoy the attractions and culture the city has to offer.”

Brighton and Hove head of tourism Adam Bates said: “All events such as these are great – good direct business for our local companies that employ hundreds of local people; great that people are travelling from all over the world to experience Brighton and Hove and share those experiences with others when they go home.”

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