Blenheim Palace ‘contributes £90m to UK economy annually’

Blenheim Palace EMN-150411-225501001
Blenheim Palace EMN-150411-225501001

A university survey has revealed Blenheim Palace contributes nearly £90m to the economy annually.

Oxford Brookes University’s study is part of a commitment by the Woodstock estate to triple its economic impact within 10 years.

The survey also found Blenheim Palace is responsible for supporting more than 4,900 jobs – 527 of them are either directly employed by Blenheim or via their in-house caterers Searcys.

Chief executive Dominic Hare said: “We’ve created an ambitious 10-year plan which underpins everything we are doing at Blenheim and involves everyone and every area of the estate.

“One of the key goals is a commitment to triple our contribution to the local economy and the work carried out by Oxford Brookes University will be invaluable in both measuring our achievements and also making informed choices about the positive impact of our businesses on the local area.

“Other targets include housing 300 families in truly affordable homes, becoming one of the UK’s top 100 employers, training over 100 apprentices, becoming a net generator of green energy, increasing paying visitor numbers to 750,000 and doubling our charitable contributions.”

The survey looked at every aspect of the estate and will be repeated annually to gauge progress towards the ultimate goal of trebling their economic impact within a decade.

Other key findings showed Blenheim spends £17m annually with UK suppliers – more than a third of which within a 20-mile radius of the palace supporting over 1,000 jobs locally.

Of the 600,000 annual paying visitors to Blenheim Palace, nearly 14 per cent stay in the area for more than a day and contribute an average of £336 to the local economy through a combination of accommodation, food and drinks, gifts, transport costs and

other expenditure.

If the long-term target of attracting 750,000 paying visitors per annum is achieved it would mean the total local spend would increase to £23m.

Events like the International Horse Trials and Countryfile Live made significant contributions with a combined direct GVA (Gross Value Added) of £12.8m, before taking into account the spend of all those visitors.

Other significant contributors to the overall GVA figure of £89,166,603 included construction investment of more than £9.5m.

Blenheim Palace also helped raise £1m for charity between May, 2016, and April, 2017.

Mr Hare said: “We’re working hard to do more than ever for our local communities, and this economic impact survey is the first step to measuring how well we are doing on our journey.”

“We’re proud to be part of the local communities and invest in the economic, social and cultural life of those who share it for generations to come,” he added.