Manchester’s EventCity has recorded a record 217,000 visitors in the first half of 2015, making it the busiest half-year since the venue launched in March 2013.

The surge in numbers comes after hosting a string of high profile events including the X Factor auditions and the Ideal Home Show.

As the only venue chosen outside London to host the X Factor Judges auditions, EventCity is firmly establishing itself as a major north west arena which recently welcomed over 15,000 X Factor devotees over two days.

This year’s figures were further bolstered by record numbers attending the Ideal Home show in June attracting 37,000 visitors, spending almost £10 million across 300 exhibition stands. With further high profile events scheduled including a large scale networking conference, Utilities conference with over 3000 delegates, Play Expo and Winter Wonderland in December EventCity is forecasting an annual total visitor number of 598,000 which will be a 32% increase on last year.

As the second largest exhibition venue outside the capital, for the first time, EventCity’s economic impact has been measured.  According to independent research carried out by AMION Consulting, EventCity generates a further £11.9 million in visitor spend each year in nearby hotels, shops and other attractions.

Andy Orr, Managing Director, EventCity, said: “Anecdotally we knew that there was a direct correlation between a major event here and higher footfall and increased spend in stores including Asda and within intu Trafford Centre, as well as within our neighbouring hotels.

“The fact our visitors can build in retail and leisure time into their trip is part of the attraction. Equally, our exhibitors recognise the advantages of hosting their events in such a unique location that is easily accessible via the motorway network.

“We’ve had an incredible first six months of the year and to be able to see the measure of our success fiscally is very rewarding. It’s not just about numbers through doors but creating real tangible benefits to the local economy through the people we employ directly and indirectly.

“We’re starting to turn heads on a national level and to be the only venue outside London to host the X Factor judges’ auditions has given us huge kudos. We want to keep attracting more ‘firsts’ outside the Capital, as well as appealing to a variety of market sectors.”

Measuring EventCity’s contribution to the job market, the research revealed that as well as directly employing 212 individuals, it further supports 324 full time jobs off site within a range of service industries generating £16.6 million GVA (Gross Value Added) into Manchester’s economy each year.

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