Study confirms post-secondary is having positive impacts on Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations
A new report confirms that Laurier Brantford, along with post-secondary partners Nipissing University and Mohawk College, have been providing strong economic benefits to the region since 2005, and the impacts are continuing to increase. The Post-Secondary Economic Impact Study, commissioned by the Grand Valley Educational Society and conducted by Adventus Research, was a follow up to a benchmarking study completed in 2005.
An executive summary, and full version of the Economic Impact Study are below.
The study revealed that actual economic impacts are as high as 20% greater than expected, with an economic impact of $43.33 - $58.5 million annually or $216 - $292 million over the last five years.
“Brantford should be very proud of the successful partnerships created by community members, the municipality, academic institutions and industry,” said Gary Svoboda, president of Adventus Research Inc. “Citizens have engaged and supported Council in taking a dire situation and developing a unique solution to reinventing your downtown that will continue to grow and prosper and present ongoing benefits to your community. The results achieved speak very well for Brantford.”
From a financial impact perspective, the study shows that students attending post-secondary institutions will spend approximately $26.8 million locally on an annual basis for such items as accommodation, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment, or $6,033 per student, while estimated construction and renovation costs over the next five years will support a temporary increase in income up to $110.2 million, or a 5 year average of 227 jobs and the impact of those visiting the campuses is estimated to be $586,000 annually.
Lesley Cooper, principal/vice-president of the Brantford campus of Wilfrid Laurier University, was pleased with the results.
"We are incredibly pleased that the projected impact of the post-secondary institutions surpassed the projected impact from the 2005 study,” said Cooper. “Laurier Brantford is proud of the partnerships that have allowed us to be successful to date, and to continue working together as we move forward.
Key findings in the report include:
• Operating expenditures for the post-secondary institutions are projected at $ 114.6 – 141.8 million over the 2011-12 to 2015-16 period. This in turn drives expenditures of $ 191.4 – 236.8 million in the Province, of which $ 152.4 to 188.6 million will be spent within Brantford/Brant.
• Estimated construction and renovation costs for the Brantford post-secondary institutions over the 2012-2016 timeframe will likely total up to $155.2 million, of which up to $110.2 million will be retained within Brantford/Brant
• A total of up to 1,904 person years of employment are estimated to be generated in the Province from the proposed projects. Of this amount, up to 1,135 person-years of employment will come from Brantford/Brant, representing a 5-year average of up to 227 jobs.
• Stakeholders mentioned that in the past six years there has been a significant and noticeable improvement in both the appearance and the substance of the social fabric of the Brantford downtown
The effect post-secondary education is having on the City of Brantford involves more than just economics and revitalization. According to the report, 93 per cent of respondents felt that Laurier Brantford positively affects the reputation of the City of Brantford.
Volunteerism was specifically noted as having a significant impact on the community. Using data from the National Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating, post-secondary volunteerism provides a regional benefit of $ 1.7 million annually (in dollar equivalents) to the local community.
Finally, the report concludes that the community/academic partnership to revitalize the Brantford downtown has been a significant and notable, but still developing success. The ongoing effort by all players (academic institutions, the City, the business and cultural communities and other levels of government) should be maintained and deepened to maximize and sustain the ultimate degree of economic success possible for the downtown, greater Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations.