The Festival – worth over £100m to the Gloucestershire Economy

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Image: Cheltenham racecourse

 With this year’s Cheltenham Festival now just weeks away, Cheltenham Racecourse is pleased to publish an Economic Impact Analysis of the four-day Cheltenham Festival.

Published: 09/03/2016 15:15

February 2016: With this year’s Cheltenham Festival now just weeks away, Cheltenham Racecourse is pleased to publish an Economic Impact Analysis of the four-day Cheltenham Festival, taken from information gathered at the event in 2015, on the local area of Gloucestershire, revealing that it brings in excess of £100 million to the local economy.  The project was undertaken by staff of the Centre for Contemporary Accounting Research (CenCAR) at the University of Gloucestershire.

The categorization of the expenditure was gained from an online survey managed by Cheltenham Racecourse using a questionnaire developed to achieve the project aim.  A survey was distributed to each party that attended the event asking about their expenditure during the event with a total of 4,356 responses. This included days attended and what and where they spent their money during their visit to the area.


Ian Renton, Regional Director for The Jockey Club, South-West, says, “The University of Gloucestershire have produced a comprehensive report which has revealed a staggering figure of what the four day Festival brings to the Gloucestershire economy.   We have known for many years that many of the local business have a significant turnover during the four days of The Festival but we are delighted that we have been able to put a figure on this impact and thank the team at the University for all their hard work in bringing this report to life.”


Professor Neil Towers, who oversaw the project on behalf of the University of Gloucestershire, added; “The Cheltenham Festival is a major contributor to the Gloucestershire economy and we were pleased to be invited to undertake the Economic Impact Analysis. From our analysis we were able to show where the money was spent over the four days which in turn helps Cheltenham Racecourse better target its activities to meet the customers’ requirements in future events.”


The four day Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the Jump season in the UK and Ireland, and takes place each year in March.  The Festival epitomises and encompasses everything that is great about Jump racing, whilst delivering an unbelievable occasion as the finest horses, jockeys, owners and trainers battle it out for the highest racing honours, their reputations and over £4.1 million of the prize money.  Just under 250,000 people pass through the gates over the four days making it the biggest festival in jumps racing in the UK.


This year the event starts on Tuesday 15th March and continues until Friday 18th March.  Tickets are available to buy for each day via www.cheltenham.co.uk or 0344 579 3003. 


The Festival Key Metrics:

  • £4,150,000 – The amount of prize money in pounds sterling on offer at The Festival 2016– the most of any Jumps festival in the world.
  • £575,000 – The prize money available for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 
  • 248,521 – The total number of visitors over the four day Festival
  • 62,000 – Average attendance over the four day period of The Festival
  • 6,000 – The number of staff employed over The Festival
  • 150 – The amount of money, in millions of pounds sterling, bet on The Festival every year
  • 80 – The amount in millions of pounds sterling The Jockey Club has spent on facilities at Cheltenham in the last 30 years.
  • 40,000 Hospitality meals (total)