Last year’s Festival of Thrift delivered a welcome boost for the local economy and its key messages about sustainability reached audiences across the country.
Figures produced by market research company Fuze Metrics, revealed by the organisers of the UK’s award-winning celebration of sustainable living at Kirkleatham near Redcar on the north east coast, show that total spending by visitors at the 2018 event amounted to an impressive £976k and that 14% of the 35,000 festival-goers were from outside the north east region.
The amount spent represents a 16% increase on the 2017 event where spending totalled £840,862.
On average groups spent £48.70 on purchases from stalls run by a range of independent businesses over the Festival weekend, according to independent research carried out after the event.
The results also showed that a large proportion (69%) of visitors came to Redcar just to visit the Festival, which offers a unique programme of using artists and creativity to inspire people to live sustainable lives, save money and have fun.
There is huge loyalty to the event with 59% of festival-goers in 2018 having been to a previous Festival of Thrift and 10% having visited all six events.
Festival of Thrift director Stella Hall is pleased with the positive impact the event is having on the local area and that Festival’s important messages about sustainability are being spread more widely.
“It is great news and highlights the huge potential that the Festival offers to support the ongoing regeneration of the Redcar area.
“We are using the arts to show people that is it possible to live a good life in a way that is sustainable and our aim is to continue to inspire people of all ages to learn old ways and find new ways to be creative in their everyday lives.
“Our visitors tell us time and time again how full of joy and great fun the Festival is; a very effective way to get the incredibly important message about how to save our planet across. And, despite this great news re the visitor spend at our event, you could still have a great day family out just spend a few pounds.”
The seventh Festival of Thrift is taking place on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September when the event is once again heading back to the wonderful woodland surroundings of Kirkleatham, near Redcar on the north east coast.
Stella added: “Our key themes for 2019 are Clean Air, upturning ideas of Tees Valley as a dirty industrial landscape, and a commemoration of the Moon Landing, symbolising the level of aspiration we have for our future.
“As we celebrate Fair Trade fortnight it is important to note that many of our regular Festival stallholders use and sell fair trade products, something which we will be highlighting as we build a year round online presence for our traders.”
Bookings for stalls for the 2019 event have just opened and the Festival is on the lookout for new ethical traders with a commitment to sustainability.
To find out more and to keep in touch with news about this year’s Festival of Thrift visit www.festivalofthrift.co.uk