Foxes triumph will only bring ‘short term growth’

Leicester’s economy will receive a major boost on the back of the city’s football team becoming Premier League champions this week – but it has a long way to go if it has ambitions to become the largest and fastest growing in the East Midlands, according to an economic think tank.

The Centre for Economic & Business Research (Cebr), the prospect of Champions League football in the coming year will provide a multi-million pound boost to demand for hotels, restaurants and pubs in the weeks when Leicester play their group games at home. Plans to expand the King Power stadium, now more likely following the historic league win, will also provide a short-term boost to construction in the city.

Sam Alderson an economist at Cebr said: “It’s difficult to quantify at this stage what impact the exposure of the city is going to have on things such as inward investment but ensuring that the city take advantage of its increased profile will be crucial. There are over 20,000 people employed in the city in restaurants, pubs and hotels and although this is likely to receive a major boost over the coming 12 months, its impact on growth is likely to only be short term.”

Cebr, together with law firm Irwin Mitchell, recently published the latest of its UK Powerhouse reports. These studies provide an estimate of GVA and job creation within 38 of the UK’s largest cities 12 months ahead of the Government’s official figures.

The latest quarterly UK Powerhouse tracker results revealed that Leicester in the final three months of 2015 moved up five places in the report’s city growth league table on the back of a quarter by quarter growth of 1.6% in the city’s economy. This took the total of the value of goods and services produced to just over £7bn.

During the same period, Derby’s economy grew by 1.5% whilst Nottingham’s economy expanded by 2.3%, taking its total GVA to £7.9bn.

However, the East Midlands Chamber has a more optimistic view of Leicester City’s title win.

It says that winning the Premier League title could be worth almost £22m to the city’s economy.

Figures from travel company goeuro’s Football Price Index show that a season in the Premier League is worth almost £17m to the city, based on the amount spent by fans on accommodation, transport and food and drink.

And that could rise by an additional £5m next season when the club competes in the group stage of the Champions League and welcomes visiting fans to the city – plus an extra £1.3m for each extra round it plays in, should it progress beyond the first round of matches.

There will also be a host of intangible benefits to the city, says the Chamber, such as enhanced media profile and increased workplace morale, which could boost tourism, inward investment and productivity.

Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Our congratulations go to all the players, staff and management Leicester City, one of the Chamber’s key members in Leicester, for this remarkable achievement. It has put the city on the global footballing map and has captured the imagination of sports fans around the world.”