Durham University worth £1.1 bil a year to the UK economy

The university makes significant contribution to the economy, culture and society and through its world-leading research

Durham University is worth £1.1 billion a year to the UK economy, a new independent report has revealed.

A major study undertaken by BiGGAR Economics found the University generated £1.1 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) for the UK economy in 2014-15, including £633.6m in the North East. The University also supported 13,660 UK jobs, including 10,330 in the North East. 

Calman Learning Centre

The findings of the report, commissioned by the University, were announced at an event held at Durham University Business School on 9th November. The ‘Durham University – So Much More’ event brought together political, business, cultural and community leaders to celebrate their joint achievements to date and discuss possible future collaborations. 

The publication of the BiGGAR Economics report findings comes as the University is developing a new ten-year University Strategy 2017-2027, with the goal of delivering world-leading and world-changing research across all academic departments and institutes; education that is challenging, difficult, enabling, research-led and transformative; and a wider student experience to rival the best in the world.

Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor and Warden of Durham University, said: “Here at Durham University we are proud of the positive contribution we make to the UK, the North East, Durham City and Stockton.

“This independent report reveals the true scale of that contribution, economically, culturally, socially and through our world-leading research – demonstrating that we are so much more than the sum of our parts.

“It is wonderful that so many friends and partners were able to join us for the So Much More event and I look forward to the many new initiatives that I am sure will emerge from the discussions.”

Studying the Lindisfarne Gospels

Other key findings from the BiGGAR Economics report include:

  • For every £1 Durham University receives in funding, it generates £3.21 for the UK economy;
  • The University has launched 25 spin out companies since 1997, supporting nearly 1,000 jobs. Examples include Kromek, P2i and Ikon Science;
  • The University plays a crucial role in the local tourism sector, attracting 231,270 people to its visitor attractions, including Palace Green Library, the Oriental Museum and the Botanic Garden, in 2014-15 and generating nearly £8m for the region’s economy;
  • Durham University students dedicate 14,000 hours a year to volunteering, including in many local schools and clubs;
  • Research and Knowledge Transfer activities at the University generated £139.3m GVA for the UK economy, supporting 2,700 jobs. Examples include collaborations with Procter and Gamble, IBM and Dong Energy.

The ‘Durham University – So Much More’ event was attended by an audience of invited delegates and the guest speakers included James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce; Charles Bragg, Research and Development Director at Procter and Gamble; Terry Collins, Chief Executive of Durham County Council and Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive of the County Durham Community Foundation.

Palatine Centre

Ramsbotham said: “Durham University makes a very significant positive contribution to the North East economy. Not only does it employ nearly 8,800 people and educate 17,000 students every year, but it supports the wider economy – spending nearly £100 million a year on goods and services and supporting 1,900 jobs in the supply chain.

The University is an anchor for established business activity in the North East, and a magnet for attracting new investment – James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce

“The University is an anchor for established business activity in the North East, and a magnet for attracting new investment. In a region which has such a powerful exporting record and is so successful at building strong international ties it is extremely important to have a university such as Durham which has such a world class reputation.”  

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