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Rugby World Cup leaves a legacy

A REPORT to Rugby Borough Council's cabinet has revealed the full impact of the borough's Rugby World Cup events and activities.

The impact report reveals that more than 26,000 people attended world cup match screenings at the town's Fanzone, 10,000 people attended festival events, and 2,500 children took part in the education programme. 

Town centre businesses reported typical increases of sales of ten to twenty per cent, with some reporting that sales had doubled, while hotels reported increased occupancy of ten to twenty per cent. The council estimates that £3 extra was spent in the local economy for every £1 invested.

Other highlights reveal:

  • more than 100 volunteers gave nearly 4,000 hours to help support the programme.
  • about 400 people have attended open days at local rugby clubs following the tournament, with 131 junior and senior players signing up to play.
  • the five "Rugby's Got Balls" giant rugby balls, which each weigh nearly half a tonne, won a national award from Fields in Trust.
  • town centre improvements included a new permanent coach parking facility at Westway, new and reconditioned paving and benches, a free public wifi network and refurbishment of the Pathway of Fame.
  • international media coverage of the town included a group visit by 50 journalists from across the world, and separate live broadcasts by South African television.

Cllr Michael Stokes, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: "Rugby World Cup 2015 was a once in a generation opportunity to mark the town's heritage as the proud home and birthplace of the game.

The impact report shows that we made the most of our opportunity in the global spotlight, but more importantly also left a lasting legacy.

"With permanent improvements to the town centre, a new education programme, committed volunteers, and partners keen to explore new opportunities together, we can look back and be proud of our achievements.

"I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this programme for their commitment and support in making it happen."

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for the economy, said: "Feedback on our Rugby World Cup programme from residents, businesses and visitors was overwhelmingly positive, and I am delighted that it was so well received.

"This impact report rightly highlights our many achievements, but also shows how we have had a positive impact on our economy and how the improvements we made and programmes we started will continue to have a positive impact in future."

The "Proud Home" impact report will be considered by the council's cabinet at a meeting on 4 April 2016.

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