Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Sports Council for Northern Ireland

  Thank you for your letter regarding the Culture, Media and Sport Committee's proposed inquiry into the Staging of International Sporting Events.

  You asked for information on the impact of the World Cross Country Championships held in Belfast in 1999, including measurable sporting and economic benefits.

  The organisers of the event, including the Sports Council commissioned an impact assessment of the event. The main conclusions on the economic and sporting benefits accruing from the event are:

    —  the event cost the World Cross Country Championship (NI) Ltd £661,000 to stage. In return for this financial investment the event stimulated;

    —  £1.76 million of direct expenditure;

    —  £1.27 million of net new expenditure in Northern Ireland (allowing for displacement); and

    —  £2.28 million total expenditure when account is taken of indirect and induced impacts.

  In addition to these economic benefits there were also a number of less quantifiable benefits:

    —  4,000 young people from 100 primary schools took part in six cross country events in the lead up to the main event;

    —  200 pupils from schools took part in the opening ceremony; and

    —  events were oriented towards young people who were not already involved in athletics thus enabling young people to try out the sport, make them aware of the sport at international level, and encourage some to take up the sport. Future research would be necessary in order to gauge the number of new-comers into the sport.

  In addition to these economic and sports benefits the Championships were televised in 75 different countries to a potential audience of 32.8 million people and showing Belfast as a genuine destination for tourists. Undoubtedly this is likely to have some longer term benefits for the tourist industry.

  I trust this information will be of some value to the Committee in their forthcoming inquiry.

December 2000

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