Leeds up for events cup
by Annie Byrne
The city of Leeds is clearly on a bit of a New Year roll. Having dumped Premier League champions Manchester United out of the FA Cup, Leeds reports its events industry is worth £562 million a year to the local economy. The figure comes from research among over 100 venues in the city over the past year.The Yorkshire Business Tourism Research project was carried out by regional development authority, Yorkshire Forward, and estimates that Leeds now attracts over four million business vistors per year.The research identifies a big growth in business visitors to the wider region. In West Yorkshire, the total expenditure by delegates amounted to £777 million from 5.79 million delegates last year; accounting for 56 per cent of all business visits to Yorkshire.Head of ‘super-convention bureau’ for Leeds and West Yorkshire Conference Leeds, Nicola Lockwood, says she is delighted with the figures and believes 2009 could prove to be “the busiest year ever”.“There has been a huge growth in event venues in the city over the last five years,she adds.Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity says the figures show “the hard work of the team has paid off. There can be no doubt about how important business tourism is to the city of Leeds in terms of sustaining and creating jobs”.The figures from the Yorkshire Forward report also form part of the annual UK Events Markets Trends Survey (UKEMTS) research.