€44m generated for local economy by Limerick National City of Culture 2014

Monday 15th June 2015: Limerick’s title as 2014 National City of Culture generated almost €44m for the local economy based on a major economic impact assessment published today (Monday).

Monday 15th June 2015

Limerick’s title as 2014 National City of Culture generated almost €44m for the local economy based on a major economic impact assessment published today (Monday).

The economic impact study by Grant Thornton Ireland* assessed the impact of Limerick’s hosting of the National City of Culture title following a €12m year long programme of events which was aimed at showcasing Limerick as a vibrant city with a rich cultural community.

The Government investment attracted €4.5m additional funding to support implementation of the €12m programme.

Over 3,000 events took place in Limerick in 2014 as part of 156 projects with an estimated audience of 1.8m people. Royal De Luxe Giant’s Journey (Granny's visit) in September 2014 attracted the largest audience ever assembled in Limerick for a single event – 230,000 people.

A separate social impact study** also published today revealed 364 new local partnerships were formed and 2,504 Limerick artists were employed in various projects as a result of the year.

Key findings of the 2014 designation based on the assessment of data by Grant Thornton include:

  • Almost €30m was spent by people attending LNCoC events
  • The €12m invested into the cultural services sector during the Limerick National City of Culture (LNCoC) programme generated a minimum €13.4m benefit to the regional and national economy including €1.4m indirect and induced benefits.
  • The year long programme generated a €13m cumulative advertising value (AVE) based on a total of 4,887 press and broadcast articles during 2014 (Analysis Kantar Media)
  • On average 86% of the business community felt LNCoC had a positive impact on image/perception, future confidence, business activity and social inclusion
  • Almost 60% of the business community felt that activity levels in 2015 are higher than they were prior to LNCoC

Other key findings from the report:

  • Almost 50% of the events were offered free of charge
  • The majority of events targeted all audiences took place in many art forms and located in a variety of situations from the street, to the domestic home, to abandoned buildings and specially constructed stages in unique one off productions
  • Almost 50 events had international artists involved
  • Over 70% of events were supported by 318 active volunteers


Limerick City of Culture highlight The Giant's Journey - Royal de Luxe

Welcoming the report, National City of Culture 2014 Board chairman Pat Cox said it was evident that the 2014 programme not only promoted Limerick as a cultural centre but also improved its image, perception, supported social inclusion and boosted the region’s economic recovery.

“Limerick National City of Culture was an ambitious project which aimed to transform Limerick into a cultural hub for Ireland, re-imagine the city and provide a great opportunity for the people of Limerick of diverse backgrounds and social standing to come together and celebrate a cultural programme over 12 months,” he said.

 “We have exceeded our expectations and the objectives and I’m confident that Limerick is now being looked at locally, nationally and internationally with a fresh eye after undergoing its very own renaissance as a result of this successful designation. I’m also confident that the continuation of various cultural activities and community involvement is already generating a long term positive effect on the city and I wholeheartedly welcome this. Limerick can take confidence from it and can do so much more.”

Limerick City and County Council Chief Executive Conn Murray said it is now vital that Limerick grasps the momentum and ensures that the benefits generated from the successful hosting of the year long 2014 programme are maintained.

“Limerick was presented with a unique opportunity during 2014 to attract national and international attention and I’m particularly pleased with the feedback from the business community, the cultural vibrancy between practitioners and in communities, the scale and impact of the year and huge economic and social benefits that were generated,” he said. 

We are in the midst of preparing a bid to host the European Capital of Culture title for 2020 and the experience and knowledge gained by the organisation and management of more than 3000 events will no doubt be brought to bear by Limerick’s team in our bid for the European title,” Mr Murray added.

A separate Social Impact study** carried out for Limerick National City of Culture 2014 was also published today.

Its key findings include:

  • 156 funded projects took place with 85 more supported in kind
  • 1,630 performances and 2,589 exhibition days took place
  • An estimated 1.8 million attendances
  • 236,600 tickets issued
  • 140 funded projects in Limerick City with 15 funded projects in Co. Limerick
  • 80% of people surveyed had attended an event or seen an exhibition while 73% of residents of Co. Limerick surveyed had attended an event or seen an exhibition
  • 74% of people surveyed said they had attended The Giant’s Journey - “The Granny”
  • 86% agreed people have good memories of Limerick National City of Culture
  • 83% agreed that they enjoyed Limerick National City of Culture
  • 8,437 school children took part in 805 workshops
  • 216,831 people from community groups participated in 52 projects
  • 49 projects addressed different aspects of diversity
  • 364 new local partnerships 2,504 Limerick artists were employed 2,508 volunteers worked on 135 projects

Citizen Researcher Sadhbh McCoy who worked on the Social Impact study said of the research: “The word ‘Love’ is coming to mind and I know that sounds really soppy. But I think people really fell in love with Limerick again over the year and especially people who wouldn’t go too much. The year invigorated people’s love for Limerick and what Limerick is capable of.”

*The full Limerick National City of Culture 2014 economic impact assessment can be viewed at www.limerick2020.ie.

**The full Limerick National City of Culture Social Impact study can be viewed at www.limerick2020.ie.

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