A new study by the Oxford Brookes Business School has underlined Blenheim’s ongoing positive impact on the economy. The report showed the UNESCO World Heritage Site contributed a total of £88 million to the economy between April 2017 and March 2018.
The study, which was introduced by CEO Dominic Hare, tracks the annual progress of Blenheim’s commitment to treble their economic contribution locally around the Woodstock site within 10 years.
Underlying figures indicate their impact on the economy continues to rise; although this year’s study actually showed a small decrease due to two significant factors.
One was property, which was the result of a relatively quiet 12 months for development before larger-scale home-building in Long Hanborough and Woodstock began, and the other was the Countryfile Live event, which Blenheim deliberately scaled back in a bid to reduce disruption to the local area.
Combined, these two factors by themselves reduced Blenheim’s overall contribution to the economy by £7m. Excluding these two factors, the economic contribution of Blenheim’s activities grew by around 4.5%.
Commenting on the new study, Hare underlined the estate’s long-term commitment to working together with the local community.
“We are utterly focussed on ensuring that this area is prosperous for all, has exciting training opportunities, unparalleled housing prospects for everyone including our young people, is a sustainable place to live, is a home for flourishing new businesses, and has the facilities and infrastructure that it needs and deserves.”
This is the second annual study to be produced by the business school and also reveals a 52% increase in charitable donations, from £1.2m to £1.6m, a 2% rise in visitor figures to 910,000 and a 9% increase in staff numbers.
The report also revealed 42% of Blenheim’s goods and services are now being procured from within a 20-mile radius of the estate, an increase of 6%.
Tripling the economic contribution is one of a set of goals Blenheim has committed to achieve within a decade.
The other goals are to become a net generator of green energy, build high quality, affordable homes for 300 families, become one of the UK’s Top 100 employers, train over 100 apprentices, double their charitable donations, welcome 750,000 annual paying visitors, complete £40m of restoration work, re-acquire or borrow lost works from the Palace collection and secure a £45m endowment to conserve the World Heritage Site.