Rugby set to boost city’s economy

Villa Park matches will bring major investment to Birmingham.

Birmingham is set for an economic boost next year, thanks to Rugby World Cup matches being held at Villa Park.

An economic impact study has revealed that Rugby World Cup 2015 in England is set to deliver nearly £1 billion of additive value into the UK economy, and with some of the world’s top national sides playing at Villa Park, Birmingham will be in line to reap huge rewards.

The study, which was undertaken by EY on behalf of the Organising Committee for Rugby World Cup 2015, England Rugby 2015, looked at the different ways in which a Rugby World Cup can benefit the host nation. It estimates that the tournament will generate a total output of around £2.2 billion, which is in line with a previous economic study undertaken by Deloitte in 2008. The EY report predicts that this will translate into a contribution of £982 million to national GDP.

The report states that Rugby World Cup 2015 is expected to attract more international visitors than any previous Rugby World Cup, with an estimate of up to 466,000 visits. Through spend on items including travel and accommodation, visitors are expected to contribute up to £869 million in direct expenditure.

In 2011, 133,000 visitors stayed an average of 23 nights during the 44-day event with an overall economic impact of $NZD 1.73 billion.

Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans, said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to create a wide range of economic opportunities across many different sectors. Whether through investment in infrastructure, supporting jobs or generating revenue in Fanzones, the economic benefits will be shared around our eleven Host Cities and beyond. With Rugby World Cup 2015 expected to attract more visitors than any previous Rugby World Cup, the tournament is on track to deliver a strong economic legacy.”

With many of the match venues and Team Bases improving their facilities ahead of the tournament and host cities committing to improving transport links, the report estimates that £85 million has been invested in infrastructure. This includes the £76 million redevelopment of Twickenham Stadium by the Rugby Football Union. These infrastructure investments are expected to continue to deliver benefits to the local communities long after the Tournament has finished.

The author of the report, Peter Arnold, a Director from EY, added: “Our forecasts are based on a whole range of direct, indirect and induced benefits of Rugby World Cup 2015, from the investment that will be made in infrastructure to the ticket and tax revenues that will be generated. The Tournament creates economic activity and employment throughout the supply chain, which has the potential to bolster the growth of the Host Cities as well as the UK overall.”

The hosting of the tournament will help support a wide range of job opportunities across different sectors for a variety of different demographics of the population. The report estimates that up to 41,000 jobs will be supported across the country. This includes 16,000 employees directly linked to the Tournament and 12,000 along the supply chain.

With the tournament being hosted across 13 venues in 11 cities, the economic benefits will be shared around the country. The report estimates figures for each of the Host Cities and looks at Exeter and Newcastle as case studies. It is estimated that in Exeter the tournament will generate economic output of £39 million and, of this, £17 million will be added to the local economy. For Newcastle, the tournament is estimated to generate economic output of £93 million and of this, £43 million will be added to the local economy.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, the city’s official leisure tourism programme, said: “Birmingham’s two Rugby World Cup fixtures promise to be very special – adding to an impressive list of sporting events held here, from Ashes Tests to international athletics meetings.

“By hosting matches involving two of the world’s leading rugby nations, Australia and South Africa, Birmingham is set to attract visitors from across the world – and their expenditure will help to generate over £50 million for the local economy. The city’s name and image will be seen globally, providing a valuable opportunity to showcase Birmingham to key international markets.”