Village News

Christmas Lights

200208 | Reports reveal impact of G7 summits on hosts | benefits for businesses "For most summit had no impact"

proportion of businesses experiencing a positive impact appeared to be largely counterbalanced by those where the impact was negative

Reports reveal impact of G7 summits on hosts

The impact of hosting G7 summits as Cornwall prepares

 by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

World leaders are set to come to Cornwall this summer when the G7 summit lands in Carbis Bay.

But what is it like for areas which have previously held the event and what kind of impact could it have on Cornwall?

Main discussions and meetings will be held at Carbis Bay EstateMain discussions and meetings will be held at Carbis Bay Estate

Two of the recent events have been held in UK – firstly at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2005 and more recently at Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland in 2013.

In those two years the then G8 summit saw a lot of focus on the cost of hosting the event – it has been claimed that by hosting the summit in Cornwall we could see benefits of up to £50million.

However the cost of welcoming the world’s leaders could far outweigh that benefit.

The final bill for the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in 2013 was £92m and a review found that less than £40m of that was spent in the local economy.

Security costs accounted for a large part of the cost, totalling £75m. Devon and Cornwall Police have said yesterday that “We have an agreed process in place to recover any directly linked operational costs from the Government.”.

A large chunk of the costs of hosting the event fell on the public purse in Northern Ireland with £23m coming locally.

Details of the costs and impact of the event were revealed in a review which was published almost two years after the summit took place.

The report found that international media coverage of the summit had been “extensive and for the most part positive”.

But it also found that when assessing the benefits for businesses in Fermanagh: “For most the G8 summit had no impact.”

And, possibly concerningly for Cornish businesses hoping to cash in on the event this summer, the report suggests that for some companies it wasn’t entirely beneficial.

Cornish Stuff Homepage

The report states: “Further, in the short term the proportion of businesses experiencing a positive impact appeared to be largely counterbalanced by those where the impact was negative.

“While around half the accommodation sector had guests staying with them in connection to the G8 summit, they considered the impact on revenue to be relatively limited. This is because there was some displacement of other guests which meant bookings were either completely or partially lost.

“Official statistics support the views that the accommodation providers that there was no significant uplift in occupancy rates in the period around the G8 summit.

“However there has been a strong uplift in guests from outside Northern Ireland staying in the south west during the last six months of 2013.”

The resort where the Northern Ireland summit was held was very positive about the event and the benefits.

On its website Lough Erne Resort quotes general manager Ferghal Purcell saying: “Lough Erne was really an ideal location – it was only ever a two minute walk of private golf road to their lodgings. They were in splendid isolation.

“On any one day having any one of the world leaders visit would have been a serious task. The fact that they were all here together almost made it easier.”

He added: “These guys were here to work and work they did, from morning to night. Other than Prime Minister Cameron taking a dip in the Lough one morning, they simply didn’t have time to enjoy a Thai massage or a round of golf, although we would be delighted to welcome them back at any time for a more leisurely visit.”

On the benefits Mr Purcell adds: “Peak season began sooner and lasted longer because of the G8, not just here at Lough Erne Resort, but for all of us hoteliers in the Fermanagh area. At Lough Erne we have shown a tangible benefit which will have a knock-on effect.”

Another report was commissioned following the earlier G8 summit in Gleneagles in Scotland in 2005 and this also focused on the financial issues.

The Scottish event had attracted a number of protests including some linked with the Make Poverty History campaign.

In total the cost of hosting the G8 summit was £90.9m which included £72m spent on police for the event. The report states that £60.1m came from the Scottish public sector and £30.7m from the UK government.

It says that the event resulted in £64.7m in benefits which included new turnover to business – but with the public sector cost being £60.1m the net benefit to Scotland was £4.6m.

The Scottish report also analysed media coverage and found that the value of the coverage during the event was £66.4m but when factoring in the media coverage in the six months leading up to the event it increased to £618m.

It also found that local retailers in the area had reported “significant drops” in sales during the summit.

Analysts found that the cost of hosting the Gleneagles summit had been “significantly more” than the previous year’s summit in the US that had cost £21m, compared to the £90.9m in Scotland.

This was largely due to the increased security costs because of the large number of protesters who targeted the summit and other related events.