Homecoming Scotland : No figures for "boost" for Dundee

23 September 2010

Marlyn Glen has released answers to her Parliamentary questions which indicate that the Scottish Government does not know how many permanent or temporary jobs were created in Dundee as a result of last yearís Homecoming Scotland events, nor can it give any indication of the financial benefits that it may have brought to the local Dundee economy.

Replying to her questions, Employment Minister Jim Mather would only say that an independent evaluation of the economic impact of Homecoming Scotland 2009 had been carried out which concluded that it had generated net additional expenditure for Scotland of £53.7 million." and had created an additional 1,536 jobs."

However no figures were available "on a regional basis".

Ms. Glen said that Mr Matherís figures had already been portrayed as "substantially" overestimating the impact , and that 900 jobs rather than 1,536 had probably been created while £38 million had probably been generated in additional expenditure for Scotland rather than the £53. million claimed.

Ms. Glen said,

"Itís clear that with just two Homecoming-themed events in Dundee and Angus last year little lasting benefit has come to the city and its hinterland."

Last year Ms. Glen had corresponded with the Minister on the shortage of Homecoming-themed events locally.

She recalled that the objectives of Homecoming 2009 included a sustainable boost for the local economy through tourism.

She had asked the Minister how these objectives could have been sustained for the future with just two Homecoming-themed funded events taking place in Dundee and Angus.

She commented,

" The difficulty with measuring the success or otherwise of Homecoming in providing long-term enhancement for the various local economies in Scotland was that many of its planned events already take place annually.

" Added to this was the scarcity of Homecoming-sponsored events locally resulting from highly specific guidelines and priorities on the themes of Golf, Heritage, Whisky, Burns, Great Minds and Innovation.

"Greater marketing emphasis should have been placed on Scottish-connected communities in America, Australia and New Zealand.

"Despite a major objective of the Homecoming being to attract visitors from overseas, the largest share of Homecoming Scotlandís £1.9 million marketing and communications budget, £784,000, was spent in the UK and Ireland.

"North America, Australia and New Zealand together shared the lesser sum of £525,000 of the budget.

"Similar Scottish Government figures show that twice as much was spent purchasing TV advertising publicising the Homecoming in Scotland than in the US , £112,000 to £56,000."


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