Visitor survey shows Lake Ignite event is blazing a trail for Lake District’s cultural reputation

The Lake District is continuing to forge its reputation as a leading UK destination for contemporary arts and culture, according to the results of a new survey which reveal the success of this Spring’s ‘Lakes Ignite’ programme.

‘Lakes Ignite 2016’ has been spearheaded by the Lakes Culture project and included three key commissions; ‘Seven Nocturnal Rainbows’ (a dramatic light installation on Coniston Water, Grasmere and Ullswater), as well as the quirky ‘Museum of Water’ and a unique 21st Century Landscape Art Class.

Now Lakes Culture is revealing the results of a post-event survey, which aimed to explore how effective the programme was in engaging with a range of audiences and to find out how people perceive the area as a cultural destination.

The data gathered clearly shows the significant contribution Lakes Ignite 2016 has made to the area and the results will play a vital role in shaping how cultural events and experiences are delivered in the county in the future.

As well as revealing that Lakes Ignite 2016 brought in an estimated £90,000 of spend to the region’s economy, key findings include:

• 99% of people said they would recommend Lakes Ignite to friends and relatives
• 90% either ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly’ agreed that Lakes Ignite highlighted the cultural offer in the Lake District with 91% agreeing that it improves the view of the Lake District as a cultural destination.
• Two-thirds of people said their experience of Lakes Ignite has increased their likelihood of attending other arts and cultural events in the area
• 54% of visitors had travelled to the event from outside of Cumbria and over a third (33%) of all people attending Lakes Ignite events were staying overnight.
• Two-thirds of people from the target geographical areas – northern cities, London and south-east England – said Lakes Ignite was the main reason or one of the reasons for their visit to the area.

Usha Mistry, Lakes Cultures’ Project Manager, said: “The results from our survey clearly show that Lakes Ignite 2016 was a great success with visitors, businesses and the cultural sector within Cumbria. 90% either ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly’ agreed that Lakes Ignite has highlighted the cultural offer in the Lake District. It also brought in an estimated £90K of spend to the region’s economy.

These statistics reaffirm the appetite for engaging and contemporary cultural events, and support the case to continue the work delivered by the Lakes Culture programme into the future.

To find out more about art and culture in the Lake District, Cumbria, visit Lakes Culture


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• Lakes Culture aims to bring together the area’s tourism and cultural sectors to better promote the wealth of cultural activities on offer reaffirming the area as the UK’s leading rural cultural destination.
• The Lake District is one of only ten locations in the country to benefit from Cultural Destinations initiative a focused programme set up by Arts Council England and VisitEngland. The aim of Cultural destinations is to enable arts and culture organisations working in partnership with destination organisations to increase their reach, engagement and resilience through working with the tourism sector. Closer working between the two sectors will contribute to the economic growth of the cultural and tourism visitor economies.
• Organisations involved in the project include Kendal Brewery Arts Centre (Lead Organisation), Lakeland Arts, Wordsworth Trust, Theatre by the Lake, The Forestry Commission – Grizedale, Cumbria Tourism, The National Trust, Lake District National Park, South Lakeland District Council and Lake District Summer Music.
• The Lakes Culture project forms a supporting strand of the UNESCO World Heritage bid submitted by the Lake District National Park Partnership

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