Norwich loses £11.5m due to cancelled shows

The impact of not welcoming the likes of Johnny Marr to the Waterfront has hit Norwich's economy. Pi

The impact of not welcoming the likes of Johnny Marr to the Waterfront has hit Norwich's economy. Picture: Staff - Credit: Archant

Norwich’s economy is haemorrhaging millions of pounds in the run up to Christmas as a result of cancelled events, according to new research.

Richard Hughes at The Assembly House, Norwich Picture: The Assembly House

Richard Hughes at The Assembly House, Norwich Picture: The Assembly House - Credit: Archant

More than £11.5 million has been lost in the events and hospitality sector as a result of the virus – and this is only set to get worse with the likes of pantomimes and carol concerts scrapped.

The research, carried out by and events specialist firm, took into account not only cancelled ticket sales but also the average cost of a pint, a meal in a restaurant and a parking space for four hours which would have been consumed across Norwich’s largest venues.

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However – according to chef Richard Hughes who runs the cookery school and venue The Assembly House – the figure is a “drop in the ocean” compared to the total amount lost by the sector warned

Paul Mills, owner of Soundclash on St Benedicts in Norwich.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Paul Mills, owner of Soundclash on St Benedicts in Norwich. Picture by: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Although the business has been kept afloat by “constantly reinventing the wheel” with the likes of afternoon tea deliveries, Mr Hughes said that many hospitality bosses had lost heart.


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“If there is any silver lining to be had it is knowing that if we’re open, our customers will come. They have been incredibly loyal to us – we were fully booked in the week running up to lockdown, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and had bookings for our rooms right through January,” he said.

“Some of that was people booking for pre-theatre and for events but the vast majority of our revenue for December is actually our own events: the Christmas weddings, the parties, our own concerts.”

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But the “vast majority” of people who can keep their money in the city’s much-loved music and arts scene are, said Paul Mills owner of Soundclash Records in St Benedicts.

Mr Mills is The Waterfront and UEA LCR’s ticket vendor in the city and said that despite events being postponed 90pc of people have not asked for refunds.

“People in Norwich really want to support the venues and the bands. They want to keep their money with the people putting on shows so that when they can have gigs again the bands will come back.

“I’m sure our venues will be two steps ahead and potentially putting on an early and a late show. It could be a chance to look at how we put on shows – from talking to customers I know they’ll do what they can to be support.”

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