City of Culture 2021 win could boost Stoke-on-Trent economy by £73 million

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Winning the UK City of Culture 2021 could bring a £73 million boost to Stoke-on-Trent’s economy in 2021 and create more than 1,800 jobs, according to a chief economist.

Stoke-on-Trent is one of five cities in the running to be named UK City of Culture 2021, alongside Sunderland, Swansea, Paisley and Coventry.

The judges visited the city last month as part of their tour of the finalist cities before the winner is announced in December.

Mark Gregory, who led a study into the economic and social impact of Stoke City Football Club being in the Premier League, believes winning City of Culture 2021 would have a dramatic effect on the city’s economy.

Mr Gregory is a business economist with more than 25 years’ experience in more than 40 countries as an advisor to governments and the economics industry.

He said: “Based on the work done to analyse the contribution of Stoke City FC to the local and regional economies, an additional impact of £73.1 million to the economy from being the UK City of Culture in 2021 appears very achievable given that the football club generated around £132 million in the 2015/16 season.”

“An extensive programme of events on the scale envisaged for Stoke-on-Trent in 2021 has the potential to match the impact of the football club on the local economy.

“Major shifts in activity are possible, Stoke City FC have increased their revenues more than tenfold in the last decade, transforming the club on and off the field.

“There is no reason to believe a major programme such as UK City of Culture could not have a similarly dramatic effect.”

Stoke-on-Trent is known for its history, heritage and culture with the pottery industry still being the centre of attention in the city.

Mr Gregory added: “One of the unique features of the Stoke-on-Trent bid is the direct relationship between the creative nature of the ceramic industry and the wider cultural agenda.

“The potential for additional benefits from the increased awareness of the sector, its world-class skill base in the city, and the stimulus to creativity and innovation from the wide programme of activities planned for 2021, will almost certainly create benefits beyond the scope of any economic forecast – this is a one-off shift in the profile of the city and its trademark industry.

“Glasgow more than doubled the number of inward investment projects attracted in the year after it staged the Commonwealth Games and maintained this performance in 2016.

“Stoke-on-Trent should be looking to achieve a similar impact if it wins the competition, offering the prospect of several hundred jobs being created over time.”

The result for the competition will be revealed in a December, a date has not been set yet.

To follow S-o-T’s progress, take a look at the website http://www.sot2021.com/

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