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Scottish Housing Expo boosted local economy (16/03/11)
The findings of an independent socio-economic report on Scotland’s Housing Expo highlight that the month long event held in August 2010 generated £5.8 million construction income, created 28 full time equivalent jobs and brought £543K into the local economy. The event also attracted external additional funding of £2m from the Scottish Government towards the affordable housing on the site.
33,182 visitors from across Scotland as well as Norway, Finland, Austria and France came to the Milton of Leys site.
From the concept of the project to the final delivery The Highland Council has contributed £266K to Scotland’s Housing Expo over the last 3 financial years, inclusive of £198K approved by The Planning and Development Committee today. Other public sector funding of £225K was received with a further £31.5k coming from sponsorship and £114k from ticket and programme sales.
Speaking at today’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Chairman Councillor Ian Ross paid tribute to the hard work of Highland Council staff as well as those from other public agencies and the private sector who came together to ensure the success of the event. He said: “A great deal was achieved in the face of some big challenges such as the economic recession and the bad weather that hit progress on the site at the start of 2010. Against these unforeseen problems it is a remarkable achievement to everyone involved that the Expo opened on time and as the report highlights, produced very tangible economic benefits for the area.
“The £14m housing development gave an important leg up to the flagging construction industry at a critical time in the recession and the additional money from the Scottish Government for affordable housing would not otherwise have come to the Highlands. As well as bringing much needed financial benefits at a time when the whole construction industry was struggling, the Expo gave us the chance to highlight Highland products and services and gave developers the opportunity to showcase innovative low energy housing. It really was a unique event and the spin-off benefits have raised both the economy and the profile of the Highlands, including the £6.34 million of earnings that directly contributed to the local economy. It has left a legacy for sustainable housing and future developments involving a close partnership between the public and private sectors.”