The organisers of Cumbria’s biggest town centre festival are looking forward to a big year, after an economic evaluation revealed that the 2015 Winter Droving generated almost £900,000 in income for the local economy.
Figures revealed by Eden Arts underline the ever-increasing success of the annual Winter Droving in Penrith. £870,000 was spent by visitors attending the 2015 event – compared to £390,000 in 2014 – as they took in the unique spectacle of light, music and fire.
In total 15,000 people gathered to enjoy a torchlight procession through the streets of Penrith, alongside 76 food, arts and craft stalls, and a masqued ‘mash up’ after-party featuring an eclectic mix of world music. On average, the report compiled by Eden Arts reveals that they spent £58 each in 2015, including money on travel, accommodation and at the festival itself.
Eden Arts is now looking to capitalise on the event’s growing popularity and is at the forefront of planning for the 2016 Winter Droving, which take place this November.
Winter Droving had a number of generous sponsors in 2015 (Eden District Council, Arts Council England, Penrith BID, Penrith Lottery and AST Signs) but the ambition is to broaden this support even further for this year.
Director of Eden Arts, Adrian Lochhead, says ‘’Winter Droving is about our community, celebrating its rich culture and helping to inspire people to visit us and discover what this special part of Cumbria is all about. We have the ambition to grow Winter Droving and ultimately, want to see the event become a weekend long event, which in turn would draw boost local visitor economy in the winter months. For this to happen, we are seeking additional funding and are really keen to hear from Cumbrian companies who would be willing to help us realise this ambition.’’
Eden District Councillor and Economy Portfolio Holder, David Hymers, comments, ‘’Winter Droving is a very special event and a focal point in the town’s events calendar, which helps to profile Penrith locally, regionally and nationally. It showcases Eden’s cultural offer to visitors and locals alike and generates a significant amount of income for the local economy. I’m keen to see this festival grow and become bigger and better. I would urge Cumbrian businesses considering their commercial sponsorships for this year to think about supporting this truly magical event.’’
Amyn Fazal, Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce, says, “Through Eden Arts’ leadership, Penrith now has a stand-out signature event that as well as being fantastic in itself has also shown the business community the value of cultural activity in improving the town’s image as a go-ahead and vibrant place to live in, work in and to visit.”
Katherine Binns, Marketing Executive, AST Signs, adds: “AST Signs was delighted to be the main sponsor of the 2015 Winter Droving in Penrith. This is a fantastic and growing showcase for Penrith and demonstrates incredible community spirit in the town. The variety of entertainment, local food and the demonstration of diverse artistic prowess on show was a testament to the diversity of talent in Penrith. We firmly believe that this event will continue to grow in stature year on year and Eden Arts should be congratulated on capturing the mood and driving this exciting movement forward. We will look forward to being involved once again in 2016.”