In May UKREiiF was hosted in the Yorkshire city of Leeds for the second year running – bringing over 7,500 people from across the UK and internationally to the city region, and a new report by ARUP has revealed it gave a £12.1m boost to the local Leeds City Region economy.

The event, which brings together investors, developers, local authorities and the wider real estate and infrastructure sectors looks to facilitate and connect businesses to drive sustainable and inclusive regeneration – but outside of the major deals and projects which take place from the conversations at UKREiiF there is also a huge benefit to the region with the event bringing fresh eyes to the city.

ARUP calculated the figure by working closely with event organisers UKREiiF to use data sources on delegates, location of travel, nights in the city region and more, in addition to data from Visit Britain, Visit Leeds and the STEAM Tourism Economic Impact model.

The direct economic impact looks at organiser spend, visitor spend and fringe event organisation spend, with visitor spend looking at areas such as accommodation, food and drink, shopping, local travel, evening events and entertainment, sightseeing and more. The Deloitte and Oxford Economics Multiplier Model was then utilised to capture the proportion of money then injected back into the local economy.

Some of the key highlights from the report include:

  • 75% of event delegates enjoyed at least one overnight stay in the region, with 55% spending at least two overnight stays.
  • This lead to 11,663 bed nights being taken in local hotels
  • £4.5m in visitor spend including food/drink, accommodation, shopping and entertainment
  • £7,177,040 of direct economic impact
  • £12,078,958 total wider economic impact
  • Huge increase on the £5,500,000 generated in the inaugural year meaning UKREiiF has generated £17,600,000 for the local economy in the space of two years

Speaking of the announcement Keith Griffiths, chief executive officer at UKREiiF, said: “UKREiiF created a real buzz across the city region with hotel occupancy at 100% and bars and restaurants seeing a huge increase on usual midweek trade, and this year the local businesses really got behind the event which saw bars and restaurants open later and really help to amplify the total from £5,500,000 in the first year to over £12,000,000 in the second.

“We also worked closely with the likes of Leeds City Council to showcase the city region in advance which has helped boost visit stays with some staying for more than 5 days in the region to add tourist days either side, and we’re looking forward to working even more with the Council and the Business Improvement District to build on this for 2024. And it’s worth saying that this economic impact just looks at the local level of visitors and spend – UKREiiF showcases over £100bn of investment opportunities across the UK and the deals and projects which are secured and signed from UKREiiF mean the event has become a real staple in the industry diary and one which is set to have an even bigger economic impact across the wider country.”