Tuesday, 24 January 2012

First-ever Economic Impact Study of Rutland Water

Rutland Water in the East Midlands was constructed in the 1970s and is the largest artificial lake in England. The first-ever economic impact study of Rutland Water has revealed that the facility generates up to £100 million annually and provides direct employment for over two thousand people.

According to University of Hertfordshire MSc student in Finance and Investment, Rohan Ramakrishnan, who has just completed his dissertation on Rutland Water, the economic impact of the facility is large and diverse.

“When I was made aware of the existence and size of Rutland Water and the universal public outcry that it generated prior to its construction, I was excited about it,” he said. “I was equally excited that there was no impact study ever carried out on the facility and I liked the idea of carrying out research on a largely untouched area.”

Rohan’s study is a preliminary one on economic impact. He identified 34 organisations near Rutland Water and through gathering data from Companies House and the Anglian Water Authority and estimated that Rutland Water generated a total of £112,912,708 in revenues, £34,914,872 in salaries and employed a total of 2,312 staff. He recommends a more detailed study so that the benefits of this facility continue to be documented.

Professor Geoffrey Hodgson, Research Professor, University of Hertfordshire Business School, who supervised Rohan’s MSc said: "This preliminary study carried by a student at the University of Hertfordshire Business School shows that Rutland Water directly generates about £100 million annually in revenues and provides direct employment for over two thousand people. This important study indicates not only the scale of revenues generated by such an amenity but indicates the importance of economic impact studies of other major projects with implications for leisure and recreation."

The employment and revenue data were obtained by (1) identifying enterprises close to Rutland Water that depend on its existence, and (2) aggregating data on their employment and revenue. The revenue comes from hotels, catering, leisure and tourist facilities.

Ironically, the construction of Rutland Water was opposed by every sizeable local interest group, political party and organisation. Now it is a prestige facility that offers an enormous boost to the local economy.

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