The 2022 Taste Cumbria food festival in Cockermouth boosted the local economy by nearly £2 million, according to new research.
The study was conducted over the event weekend on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2022. The total economic impact is measured at £1,942,947, a return on investment of £37.36 for every pound invested in the event.
In addition, people loved the event with 99% of the estimated 25,000 visitors saying the festival was ‘good’ or ‘very good’. The event was a huge draw for people to visit Cockermouth - 86% of those interviewed had made their trip to Cockermouth specifically for the Taste Food Festival, a ten percentage point increase on 2019.
Spend at the festival averaged at £91.98 per group and £33.05 per person. People were asked if they would be doing anything else apart from visiting the festival and 78% said they would be going for a meal or a drink, while 42% were going shopping, which all generated additional spend.
In their report, the team from Oxenholme-based Red Research added: “The event attracted a more local audience than in 2019. Two thirds of the people at the 2022 event were local to Allerdale, up from 50% in 2019. Petrol prices and the rising cost of living may have had an impact here. 22% were from elsewhere in Cumbria, and 11% from outside of the county. Visitors from outside of Cumbria came primarily from the North East, but also from the North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and London and the South East. On average, the tourists from outside of Cumbria were staying for 3.6 nights and spent £151.08 per person during their trip.”
The Taste Cumbria events are organised by Allerdale Borough Council and Council Leader Mike Johnson said: “This economic boost is fabulous news for the county and is one of the reasons why we are so dedicated to bringing the Taste Cumbria food festivals back every year.
“If you add in the almost £1 million generated by this year’s Taste of the Sea festival in Maryport and the £175,000 from the Wigton event, that is a huge bonus for local businesses – particularly after a very tough couple of years.
“The comments have been fabulous too. Visitors said it was like being on holiday as they browsed the stalls in the producers’ market, as well as those staged by Cockermouth businesses, and locals said it was brilliant to see their town so busy.
“I want to see these festivals get even bigger and better. They really put Allerdale on the map.”
The 2022 Taste Cumbria festival in Cockermouth was supported by Cockermouth Town Council, The Coffee Kitchen Bakery, Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, Tractor Shed Brewing, The Trout Hotel, TheVicky Shared Workspace, Peter Sidwell’s Kitchen, Cockermouth Cricket Club,Tithe Tap, Rock With and Newsquest Cumbria.
For more fun events with a Taste Cumbria link, visit Wigton’s Christmas Lights Switch On on Sunday 27 November, Workington Hall’s Winter Light & Sound on Friday 2 and Sunday 3 December, and Taste Cumbria Christmas in Cockermouth on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December 2022.