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Brighton businesses keen to reap benefits of ‘May effect’
12:00pm Tuesday 8th May 2012 in Business News
Traders have hailed a city’s ‘May effect’.
Businesses are gearing up to reap the economic benefit of the four festivals taking place in Brighton and Hove this month. Arts consultancy Sussex Arts Marketing (SAM) says Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe, the Artists Open Houses and The Great Escape are crucial to the city’s economy. A council backed report produced by SAM says that the May festivals provide huge cash injection into the creative and service economies and create hundreds of jobs across a range of businesses. Brighton Festival alone is estimated to contribute more than £20 million to the local economy.
The four events create part-time and full-time jobs for hundreds and contract more than 2,000 performers and artists. Festival events take place in more than 500 locations across the city while education and community activities involve more than 120 schools, more than 4,000 children and thousands of adults.
Olivia Reid, marketing manager at Terre a Terre restaurant in East Street, said: “We do notice an increase in business in May. The festivals bring great attention and new business to the city. We benefit from this and embrace it as an opportunity to gain new customers. I am sure other businesses would welcome the opportunity to work with the festival to make sure the city’s reputation is maintained.”
Peter Allinson, owner at the Temptation cafe on Gardner Street and vice-chair of the North Laine Traders Association said that the festivals give Brighton its unique character. He said: “It definitely gives businesses a boost. The children’s parade last Saturday is a good example of that. Temptation’s cafe in Jubilee Library had its best ever day because of the parade. There’s a good atmosphere across the city throughout the month. It makes the city what it is.”
But Steven Little, operations manager at the Tin Drum in Victoria Grove, Second Avenue, Hove, said that businesses from Portslade to the Brighton boundary often miss out on the action. He said: “The Tin Drum has a regular and stable clientele. But we do not really see any uplift from the festivals. I think Hove is often neglected by the festival organisers. They need to forge greater links with this area.”
Adam Bates, head of tourism and venues at Brighton and Hove City Council, said the festivals area at the core are what makes the city special. He said: “The festivals give people a reason not just to come to Brighton for the first time, but to come back again and again."
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