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QEII Centre contributes record £153.1m to the UK economy

The QEII Centre has recorded its highest-ever net economic contribution to the UK of £153.1 million. This Gross Value Added (GVA) figure is an increase of 72.6 per cent since 2013/14, with a GVA to London alone of £117m.

In February 2018, MPs voted for a £3.5bn Parliament refurbishment programme that could see the House of Lords occupy the Central London venue for six years from 2025, causing an outcry in the industry. The new economic contribution figures look set to put pressure on MPs to rethink the decision.

According to its latest economic impact study, carried out by Grant Thornton, QEII’s most successful financial year to date generated gross expenditure in the UK of £327.5m in 2018/19. This spend covers a range of activities including overnight stays, subsistence and expenditure in the local economy, and is 5 per cent higher than in 2017/18 and 71 per cent higher than six years ago in 2013/14.

This is the third economic report to be commissioned by the QEII Centre, with the inaugural report published in 2016. The in-depth analysis of QEII delegate data applies official data sources, industry benchmarks and multipliers, qualitative data from interviews with key partners and modelling to assess the impact of several major events.

QEII’s visitor numbers have also increased over the past six years by 42.5 per cent to 300,965 in 2018/19, according to the report. This is reflected in the centre’s annual increase in turnover, which at £15.9m is its highest in 33 years of trading.

The number of overseas visitors to QEII has increased by 50.9 per cent since 2013/14, to 79,304, which given that overseas visitors spend more in the local economy than UK and London visitors is a major factor in the centre’s increased economic contribution.

Alongside the economic contribution, the report found that QEII has also supported 3,921 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs in the UK – a 95.9 per cent increase on the 2,001 estimated jobs generated in 2013/14.

Chief executive of the QEII Centre Mark Taylor said: “I am delighted that our contribution to the UK and London economies has grown year-on-year to a new record high. This coincides with a 65 per cent increase in turnover since 2013/14 , 70 per cent increase in occupancy yield ratio and 62 per cent increase in profitability, all adding up to our best financial year to date.

“Our self-funded £16m refurbishment project, started in 2013, has helped us deliver a building valuation increase of 75.8 per cent from £25.6m to £45m, along with supporting our repositioning campaign as a flexible events space, able to meet and exceed the needs of our diverse client base. Our continued success is testimony to the amazing team we have at QEII, which includes our exceptional external partners Levy Restaurants, Keir and OCS.

“This report shows that alongside the economic benefits QEII delivers, we are also supporting hotels, restaurants, retail and supply chain, and generating trade and export, business stimulation and knowledge sharing – an impact that can only be positive for the UK.”

The Grant Thornton report for 2018/19 concludes that as the QEII Centre remains the only dedicated conference and events centre in central London of its size; it plays a major role in the capital’s strong reputation for events and enables the UK to compete with other international event destinations.

Over the past year QEII has attracted more than 400 national and international events, including high profile events such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Conservative Party Leadership Announcement and the upcoming One Young World global forum. The centre has also reinforced its reputation for excellence by winning a total of 30 awards since 2013, in areas including customer service, marketing, AV and overall best venue.