CHESHIRE’S Year of Gardens 08 was a blooming success – helping to rake in more than £15m in revenue for the area.
The event had aimed to involve 2,200 people – but more than 8,000 eventually took part in 88 activities.
Local tourism board Visit Chester & Cheshire reported that its gross economic impact target of £15.1m for Cheshire’s Year of Gardens 08 had been achieved at £15.3m.
“We’ve demonstrated that innovative thinking and creative partnerships can generate significant benefits for the local economy,” said its jubilant chief executive, Chris Brown.
Attracting 46,000 additional visitors than estimated (300,000), organisers are convinced these increases are a direct result of the pioneering partnership between Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction and organisations big and small across Cheshire and Warrington.
Erika Wenzel, chief executive of Cheshire East Council, which helped organise the event, said: “The community project was a huge success and I am sure Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction Programme (part of the event) will continue to make a significant contribution to both the visitor economy and the communities of the area.”
Felicity Goodey, chair of Cheshire’s Year of Gardens Steering Group, added: “The economic impact of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction campaign has surpassed all our expectations.
“People of all ages and from all over Cheshire have taken part in an array of garden-related activities and made the most unlikely corners of the county ‘bloom’ in a delightful variety of unexpected ways.”