Growth and Funding

Across Alchemy’s performance metrics, growth has been consistent and strong. Since 2010, Alchemy has brought thousands of artists and film lovers from all over the world to the picturesque Borders Town of Hawick: event visits to Hawick have grown from 778 in 2011 to 6,355 in 2018, alongside 27,000 visits to Rachel Maclean’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale, which Alchemy curated in 2017.

Film submissions have grown from 33 in 2010 to 1,100 in 2019 and we also have strong digital audiences in the United States, Canada and across Europe, as well as South America and India — including 5,000 subscribers via email and an ever-expanding outreach of 5,700 followers across our social media channels. 

With this progression and the award of three-year Regular Funding from Creative Scotland in 2018, we have been able to expand Alchemy Film & Arts’ productivity and what we bring to our town of Hawick.

In 2018, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival alone brought a minimum of £313,106 of economic benefit to Hawick, not including our other annual activities. Further to this, the core of our funding income brings money in from outside of the Scottish Borders region. 

Here, we give details about our income and expenditure and the economic contribution of our annual Film and Moving Image Festival to Hawick.

Alchemy Film & Arts: Where the money goes 2018 – 19




Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival: 2018 Economic Impact Calculation

In our 2018 visitor survey, people were asked to estimate how much they spent per day on food and drink, accommodation, shopping, tickets and other activities in Hawick. 

The average spend per day, per person, was £89.10. Of this, they spent £21.31 on food and drink, £26.49 on accommodation, £14.01 on shopping, £18.80 on tickets, and £8.49 on other activities. Each visitor to the festival attends on average 3 days, so that’s £267.30 per visitor.

If we multiply the total ‘visitor days’ by the average visitor spend per day, we get a total festival visitor spend of £283,106 over the festival period in the town.

To arrive at this overall economic impact estimate, we estimated the number of actual people attending the festival as follows:

  • We recorded 6,355 actual event visits (installations and ticketed events) through in-venue visit counting.
  • From our survey we can reliably estimate that people attended 6 events each, on average.
  • This allows us to estimate total unique visitors at 1,059 individual people.
  • We know from the survey that each visitor spent an average of 3 days attending the festival.
  • So that’s 3,178 ‘visitor days’.

We also know that Alchemy itself spends a significant amount of money within the local economy – including £9,000 last year on local accommodation alone, plus staff and volunteers, estimated at a cash value of additional spending within Hawick of around £20,000 for the festival period.

We can say with confidence that Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival alone brings a minimum of £313,106 of economic benefit to Hawick. And this does not include all our year-round activities.