Analysing the economic impact of the Royal Norfolk Show

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    This project was commisioned by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), in 2018, to better understand the wider economic benefits of the annual Royal Norfolk Show. The Royal Norfolk Show is the largest two-day county show in the UK and attracts visitors from across the country. It is one of a number of events and activities run by the RNAA to promote food, farming and the countryside. 

    The research was led by Dr Bahar Ghezelayagh from the School of Economics, working with a team of student research assistants, and was the first time the Show’s economic value to Norfolk had been estimated. The research team captured the Direct Economic Impact by measuring the cash inflows and outflows from those involved in the event (spectators, participants, visitors and exhibitors) then measured the Indirect and the Induced Economic Impact. 

    The research found striking gains for the regional economy, revealing that the Royal Norfolk Show generated £20 million for Norfolk, including a £14.3 million boost for Norwich businesses. 


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    The Total Economic Impact reflects the extra value added to the local economy by people visiting from outside the county, spending their money at the Show and also in shops, restaurants, hotels, attractions and in transport businesses in Norwich and Norfolk.   

    A Royal Norfolk Show day tripper is worth £335.66 to the local economy, whilst a visitor who stays in the county overnight is worth as much as £519.23 per night.  

    Dr Ghezelayagh also recommended ways in which the major economic influence of the event could be expanded even further, including encouraging more on-site concessions and trade stands from within Norfolk, and increasing advertising to attract a bigger audience from other regions and countries such as the Netherlands. 

    The RNAA have been able to use the report’s findings to structure and plan their short and long term strategies for the Show and other events throughout the year. 

    Outside the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association: From left to right: Student Research Assistants Jacob Rumley, Ali Danesh, Natalia Mendonca, Uzochukwu Ugochukwuwas, and Jian Lu


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