£5m windfall from town regatta week
BUSINESS bosses have revealed that Fowey's Royal Regatta brings in as much as £5 million to the Cornish economy.
Held in the picturesque port for more than 100 years, it is one of the region's – and the country's – premier sailing events, attracting thousands of visitors each year to the town.
Tim Jones, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said the regatta is known internationally.
He said: "It is certainly going to put around £5 million into Cornwall's economy.
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"It is one of those great events that is so popular and is held in such a fantastic and unbelievably beautiful place.
"If you were going to miss anything in the yachting world that would not be one you would want to miss.
"It brings an enormous amount of people in from all over.
"It certainly draws people in from Europe, so it is international as well."
The regatta – which has a long and proud history having attracted visitors including Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Queen Elizabeth II – takes place for one week every August.
It costs around £30,000 to stage with the money raised through sponsorship, selling souvenirs, but mainly by street collections.
The Red Arrows' display has been a highlight of the event for 35 years with the first performance by the team on August 19, 1977.
Other favourites include sailing events throughout the week, a carnival and a huge firework display.
Vice-chairman of Fowey Chamber of Commerce, Steve Beresford, said the regatta attracts people into the town.
"It has not been as busy as previous years which is certainly down to the weather and also the general economic situation," he said.
"It depends what business you have. If you run a restaurant or pub the increase is dramatic.
"It does bring people into the town and there is a good chance of people spending something. More people bring yet more people and therefore more people are likely to come back."
Jenny Marchant, of Fowey River Gallery, said regatta week is one of the busiest weeks of the year in the town.
"Footfall in both the gallery and shop is particularly high on Wednesday (Carnival Day), Thursday (Red Arrows) and Saturday (gig racing).
"We believe that regatta week is very important for all the traders in Fowey."
The event is marshalled and funded by the Fowey Royal Regatta Committee – an entirely voluntary organisation.
This year's event has been hailed a success with hopes that next year will be even better again.
For more on the regatta, turn to pages 16 and 17.