After AFC Bournemouth’s tremendous five years in the Premier League, how have the local education and tourism factors been affected? We take a dive (of the right kind) to find out…
On 27th April 2015, AFC Bournemouth stole all the headlines as they earnt a promotion to the Premier League. A moment in football many fans could only see in their wildest dreams, but Eddie Howe and his team very quickly became talk of the town. This amazing feat sent supporters into elation, yet, even more so, there was plenty of room for optimism for the town of Bournemouth and South West region.
Mark Smith, Bournemouth’s director of tourism back in 2016, brought to light that local tourism was worth just over £500m a year to Bournemouth, and following a similar trend to when Cardiff were first promoted to the Premier League, we could expect to see as much as a 10% increase in tourism spending.
Five years later, Bournemouth has seen a steady rise in tourism equating to 15% of their total economy, mounting to just over £890m in day trip spending as of 2017, showing a positive incline between AFC Bournemouth’s on-field successes as well as off it.
Now, whilst an argument can be made to say Bournemouth’s tourism income cannot solely be put down to the sporting endeavours, the benefits of establishing yourself as one of the best teams in England is clear to see. The Premier League, on average, generates £7.6bn in GVA (Gross Value Added), plus attracts 686,000 international visitors, and with Bournemouth named in the top 50 places to visit in the UK… it’s certainly not unfathomable to suggest there’s certainly some financial correlation between a boost in tourism with Premier League football.
It’s not just tourism that’s been uplifted by the successes of AFC Bournemouth — education and support for new SMEs have also seen a significant rise over the past five years. Back in May 2018, Bournemouth was named the second-fastest growing area for start-ups in the UK, and even referred to as the South’s Silicon Valley, currently home to massive market leading giants such as Adobe, Apple, and Netflix.
The innovation wheel from both the creative and digital industries in Bournemouth has been well broadcasted, initially brought to light by Tech Nation, who reported Bournemouth as having the ‘fastest growing digital economy in the UK’.
We asked Anthony Story, Director of Silicon South and host of The 10th Degree Podcast, what it has been like setting up a company within this new shift of digital practice in the south coast:
“It’s been interesting” he states, “Silicon South started as a small base, but as Bournemouth’s digital economy grew, so did we”. When asked about the possible influences from AFC Bournemouth on the communities digital growth, Anthony claimed, “With AFC Bournemouth’s renewed reputation in the Premier League, this helps prompt a subliminal trust and robustness in the products and companies coming out of Bournemouth, adding more weight and recognition behind us and all that we do.”
AFC Bournemouth have also supported our local education institutions, allowing them to play their part in the off-pitch matters.
Bournemouth & Poole College became an official partner of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust, a programme designed and developed to encourage young people to get active, lead healthier lifestyles, be involved in a safe environment, and expand their social circles through similar interests.
Another partnership agreed for AFC Bournemouth was with Bournemouth University, an initiative focused on equipping graduates with the right skills to find suitable roles right on their doorstep to support the creative and digital industries locally. Once again, this movement was documented by The Telegraph labelling new Bournemouth graduates ‘key to this new lease of life’. A few years on, Bournemouth has seen a rise by 212% in the last decade of new business start-ups, an encouraging sign for the community and those looking to take the plunge into self-employment.
So, with that all said, the magnificent performance from everyone associated with AFC Bournemouth, has certainly gone a long way over the last five years. In boosting the coverage and showcasing the fabulous part of the world we live in, whilst providing some of the next generation with unmatchable exposure. But, of course, AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League journey has now come to an end… for now. However, Bournemouth’s growth and development can hopefully keep thriving as Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council states:
“Our time in the Premier League has raised awareness of Bournemouth as a location, with those benefits likely to continue for a number of years, but fundamentally it is the dynamism and strength of our local economy that continues to encourage both national and international business interest in the area.”
 GVA impact 2 Gross Value Added (GVA) is a measure of economic activity which can be viewed as the incremental contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It therefore provides a useful measure for understanding the economic contribution made by particular industries, or businesses, such as the Premier League and its Clubs.