Business Festival parades area’s growing retail, tourism and hospitality
Leicester and Leicestershire’s retail, tourism and hospitality sector will be on show in the Leicester Business Festival (from 29 October to 9 November) through a number of exciting events.
All three industries are enjoying continued growth. Leicester’s city centre is currently undergoing massive developments which will bring new hotels, retail outlets, and road improvements including a multi-million pound plan to redevelop the old House of Fraser store and Leicester’s first Treetop Adventure Golf business next to the Showcase Cinema de Lux.
Retail destination outlet, Fosse Park, is also doubling in size through a £150 million extension which will make way for a new Debenhams, TK Maxx and Clarks as well as a flagship Next store. Simultaneously, Everards Brewery – currently located on the existing Fosse Park site will to move across the main dual carriageway to a new home: ‘Everards Meadows’ encompassing a pub, restaurants and craft food and drink production facilities next to its brewery.
In the Business Festival, Hammersons will be examining how retail can survive against the ever-increasing world of cyber shopping, on 29 October. Whilst Leicestershire’s market towns join forces on 30 October, to look at the high streets of tomorrow and discuss with high street businesses the how they can survive and continue to grow.
Jo Tallack, (pictured left) General Manager at Highcross Leicester said, “Leicester Business Festival is a fantastic means to bring a vast array of businesses together and showcase what we do best within the region. It’s a great opportunity to network and share best practice. Whether you’re an independent or national brand there is something for everyone.
“The retail landscape is changing at such a fast pace the Leicester Business Festivalprovides the ideal forum to identify these changes to a wider audience and share our knowledge, thus ensuring our city and county are prepared to embrace a very different retail scene in the future."
Tourism in the area is continuing to flourish following Leicester’s Premiership win and the discovery of the remains of King Richard III. Private investors are planning an additional 532 hotel bedrooms for the city, some key visitor attractions, like the National Space Centre, are already at capacity and expanding facilities through ambitious capital projects and others are growing business by launching new and exciting features, events and experiences.
February saw Prince William officially opening the new Triumph Visitor Experience in Hinckley, Twycross Zoo launched its new £3.5m Chimpanzee Eden in June and July saw Timber, an extraordinary new camping festival, animate the National Forest.
The sector is currently working in partnership to develop strategic growth plans for leisure and business tourism across Leicester & Leicestershire, aiming to deliver more visitors, increased spend, more profitable businesses, more jobs and greater economic impact. The work is designed to give the area a higher profile and stronger image as a visitor destination of choice.
The Leicester Business Festival itself - now in its fourth year has grown into a nationally-renowned event. With over ten thousand attendees including an estimated 27 per cent from outside the area attending in 2017. Attendees even came from as far away as China and the U.S.A. spending money in the local economy whilst visiting.
Sally Coleman (pictured right), Strategic Tourism Manager, for Leicester & Leicestershire said, “The international recognition gained through such high-profile events including the King Richard III story and Leicester City Football Club’s Premier League success has helped grow the visitor economy in Leicester & Leicestershire to over £1.7bn, creating 22,000 jobs and bringing 33m visitors into the area.
“Our offer is much stronger when we speak with one voice and the Business Festivalwill help to bring those individual businesses responsible for delivering our visitor experience together; providing a forum to work in partnership, gain sector intelligence and future-proof this important industry."
Market Harborough, in particular, is using the Business Festival to bring tourism businesses together to share plans and opportunities and ask questions of local leaders about the future of tourism in the area. This is taking place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground on 2 November.
Business Festival events are free and open to anyone to attend, however, they must be booked in advance through the website www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com or through the new LBF app – free to download from Google Play or the Apple store.
Along with headline partners, Leicester Castle BusinessSchool, the 2018 Festival has the support of well-known business organisations including East Midlands Chamber; LLEP Business Gateway; East Midlands Airport; Brewin Dolphin; University of Leicester School of Business; Highcross Leicester; Shakespeare Martineau; and the FSB.
Other supporters include Everards Brewery; De Montfort University; Pattersons Commercial Law; Growth Partners PLC and the Institute of Directors, as well as official app partner Infonote; AV media partner, The Presentation Group; Coffee partner, 200 degrees; and media partners, Cross Productions and Capital Radio.