2016 Economic Impact

5th Nov 2016


The economic impact of our events is estimated to be in excess of £900,000 in 2016. Here we explain where that figure has come from and why we are publishing it.


In the last few years, the attitudes of many landowners, local communities and authorities toward events has hardened, and overall it is more difficult (and costly) to gain the necessary permissions to hold an event than it was in the past. 


There has been a proliferation of outdoor events of all types, and it is easy to understand why some landowners and local communities have become tired and frustrated from the impact of poorly organised events. Likewise, with the squeeze on public spending, there is very little support available for events from local authorities, and rather than offering to help bring an event to an area, we often experience bureaucracy and bills. 


At the beginning of 2016, we decided to start carrying out a post event economic impact survey of our participants, because we wanted to be able to demonstrate unequivocally that our events have a very positive impact on the local and national economy. 


Whilst not demonstrated in this report, we also feel that professionally organised events, such as those delivered by Ourea Events, can liaise with landowners, local communities and other stakeholders in such a way that everyone is a winner. It is difficult and time consuming to achieve this, and we are not without occasional fault ourselves, but we do have a determination to deliver the highest quality events for both our participants and the wider community and public who may interact with the event. 


2016 is the first year of reporting participation and economic impact data from our events, and we hope that this will become the norm for us and other event organisers. 


2016 Economic Impact


Number of Entries


2,333 participants took part in events organised by Ourea Events during 2016. These events included:

  • Marmot Dark Mountains™ - January
  • Great Lakeland 3Day™ - May
  • Cape Wrath Ultra™ - May
  • Marmot24™ - August
  • Skyline Scotland™ – September
  • Rab Mountain Marathon – September

Some of the events are small in terms of participation, like the Cape Wrath Ultra™ with just 97 participants. However, this event is significant in terms of economic impact because of the high rate of international participation, long duration of the event, and significant organisational spend. 


Our event with the greatest number of entries was Skyline Scotland™, which includes the Salomon Mamores VK™, Salomon Ring Steall Skyrace™ and Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™. These three races attracted 1,029 entries with a correspondingly significant impact of the local economy. 


Geographical Data


On average 91% of our participants are from the UK, and 9% are from overseas. However, particular events that are reasonably unique and have high aspirational value attract a higher international audience with 22% of Cape Wrath Ultra™, and 16% of Skyline Scotland participants attending from overseas


Sticking with the example of Skyline Scotland, postcode and country analysis of the competitors who actually took part in the event, based on the information provided at the time of entry, we know that the geographical distribution was as follows:

  • UK: 84%
  • Scotland: 46%
  • England: 34%
  • Wales:  2%
  • Northern Ireland: 2%
  • International: 16% 


Please refer to the UK and World maps below, which visualize this data.


Skyline Scotland™ - UK geographical distribution of competitors


Skyline Scotland™ - global distribution of competitors



Our Economic Impact Survey was carried out post event by emailing all the competitors and asking them to complete an online survey. Overall we have 373 individual responses from participants, but the response rate varied between events, with our highest figure being 47% and our lowest figure being 6%.


We asked a professional researcher to analyse and collate this data on our behalf and summarise the findings. The survey responses suggest that overall:


  • Participants spent up to £158,000 travelling to/from our events.
  • Many participants stayed overnight in local accommodation before/after our events (the numbers varied between events) contributing up to £62,000 to local accommodation providers.
  • Participants spent up to £127,000 on food for our events, of which £79,000 was spent in local food shops, cafes and restaurants.
  • Participants spent up to £201,000 on specialist outdoor and running equipment for our events during the year. The majority of this money was spent with retailers close to home, rather than in the vicinity of the event.
  • The economic impact across all the events from direct participant spending is in the region of £550,000


Skyline Scotland was unique amongst our events because of the high number of non-participating spectators that attended, and the high number of days participants spent recce'ing the race routes in advance of the race. The survey data shows that:


  • 67% of participants spent time in Lochaber before the Skyline Scotland event to recce the race routes. On average they were there for 1.7 days and brought three other people with them. This would have contributed additional income in terms of travel, accommodation and food, but our 2016 survey did not capture this data.
  • An estimated 750 non-participating spectators travelled with the participants for the weekend. We estimate the additional economic impact of these visitors to be in the region of £62,000 for accommodation and £58,000 for food (based on what participants spent).


Unsurprisingly, Ourea Events spends the majority of its income actually delivering the events, and the organisational spend of the business will be in the region of £250,000 this year. We always endeavour to use local providers for things like marquee hire, waste disposal, portable toilets etc. Combining all these figures indicates:


  • An approximate total economic impact of £920,000 to the UK economy in 2016, much of this being delivered locally to each event.