IFB boost for city region

The regional impact of the International Festival for Business (IFB) has been revealed.

Figures detailing national impact were unveiled on Wednesday (Nov 11) at a meeting of British business leaders at the BT Tower, London.

An estimated 6,000 new jobs could be created in Liverpool City Region over the next three years as a result of the festival, the interim evaluation report reveals.

The report says the UK’s first International Festival for Business, held during the summer of 2014, could also result in £80m of new investment for 200 City Region businesses.

The evaluation figures show that over three years across Liverpool City Region (LCR):

  • 1,900 LCR companies secured or expect new domestic sales valued at £40m
  • More than 650 LCR companies secured or expect export sales totalling £25 million
  • 200 LCR companies expect to sign investment deals worth £80 million
    • Around 6,000 jobs could be created over the next three years

The report also shows that delegates attending IFB 2014 spent some £14m in the LCR economy, creating 240 jobs, and that 8% of LCR participants are now exploring export opportunities for the first time.

The 50-day festival attracted 68,600 business attendees from 92 countries at 415 events, including the British Business Embassy hosted by UK Trade & Investment at St George’s Hall, the BT Global City Leaders’ summit and the Santander SME summit.

Other highlights from the inaugural festival included: Accelerate 2014, Made in the UK, The Global University of the 21st Century and a whole series of UKTI led events and exhibitions at The IFB International Trade Hub.

Plans for a second festival in 2016 are already in train. George Osborne announced during this year’s event that there would be an IFB 2016, hosted again in Liverpool on behalf of the UK.

The Chancellor described IFB 2014 as “a shop window for global markets and a reminder that we can be proud of the stamp that reads Made in Britain”. He added: “I am backing this initiative, committing the funding requested by the Mayor Joe Anderson and Liverpool City Council for another festival here in Liverpool in 2016.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The impact of IFB 2014 on businesses operating across the City Region is made very clear by this report – thousands of jobs and millions of pounds worth of sales and investment.

“What’s also clear is that the direct impact on the economy – a boost of some £14m in spending during the summer – was significant.

“IFB was an ambitious festival that threw the spotlight on the city and wider region. For seven weeks, there was an incredible intensity and buzz as UK business delegates rubbed shoulders with guests drawn from around the world.

“The feedback has been very positive and that gives us the same tenacity and drive to make IFB 2016 even better.” 

Max Steinberg, Chairman of IFB 2014, said: “We are very pleased that such significant benefits are being felt by businesses of all sizes and types here in the City Region. Generating jobs and investment is imperative for us so we are delighted by these findings.

“What cannot be measured but is also vitally important is the effect of the festival on people’s perceptions of the City Region. IFB was a fantastic shop window for our assets as a business and leisure destination and a unique opportunity to sell the city to the tens of thousands of international delegates who attended.

“I know through the feedback we have received that the vast majority of those delegates – many of them first-time visitors to the city – left with an overwhelmingly positive view of Liverpool.” 

Mike Houghton, Divisional Director, Siemens Industry, said “Siemens was a very active sponsor of IFB 2014 and benefited first hand from new connections and relationships which were made during the festival. We believe that British businesses with ambition must make the most of opportunities such as IFB to explore new partnerships and markets.

“The regional and national evaluation figures are a compelling demonstration of the scale of the positive impact of the festival and the opportunities it afforded businesses”

The evaluation report reveals that nationally:

  •  3,000 UK companies secured or expect new domestic sales
  • 1,400 companies secured or expect export sales totalling £100 million
  • 350 companies expect to sign investment deals worth £200 million
  • Around 10,000 jobs could be created over the next three years

 

For more information and to get involved with IFB 2016 please visit www.ifb2016.com