Faiths give £300m to Yorkshire

25 June 2009

by Helen Saxbee

THE CONTRIBUTION of faith com­munities to the economy of the Yorkshire and Humber region amounts to almost £300 million per annum, the Yorkshire and Humber Faiths Forum (YHFF) announced last week.

Launching Grace and Generosity, a report on economic-impact assess­ment undertaken on behalf of the YHFF, Isobel Mills, deputy regional director of the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber, said that the report documented “in a practical and concrete way” the contribution of faith communities to the region.

“What is particularly striking is the enormous diversity of this con­tribution, which ranges from sharing with national and inter­national visitors the majesty of York Minster, to helping the homeless help them­selves through projects such as the one St George’s Crypt in Leeds runs.”

The YHFF commissioned the re­port, believing that the faith com­mun­ities’ economic contribution has “largely been unquantified and under­valued”. Among other findings, the report says: “Faith communities employ the equivalent of 540 full-time staff and give one million hours of time on a voluntary basis. This has an economic replacement value of around £282 million.

“Adding to this the £10 million in equivalent rent by the use of faith buildings for social projects, and £4 million from day-visitors and tourists to faith heritage sites, the total contribution to the Yorkshire and Humber economy is around £300 million per year.”

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