The decision to hold the UKIP party conference in Doncaster will help put the town on the map, according to business chiefs.
Hundreds of delegates descended on Doncaster Racecourse last weekend for the three-day conference and helped pump thousands of pounds into the local economy with hotels, restaurants and pubs all expected to be boosted by the event.
Leader Nigel Farage, who addressed the conference, described the decision to hold the conference in Labour’s heartland as “taking the battle to Ed Miliband’s back yard.”
Dan Fell, of Doncaster Chamber, said the decision by the right wing Eurosceptic party to meet in the town would help encourage trade.
He said: “Doncaster has a strong leisure and tourism base that includes business tourism and conferencing. Conferences and exhibitions in Doncaster add value to the local economy by bringing large amounts of people to the borough - that includes corporate exhibitions and events and then everything from Tattoo Jam at one extreme to political conferences at the other. Whilst UKIP’s decision to host a conference in Doncaster was clearly a political move, demonstrating Doncaster’s ability to host such events will not have done the town any harm.” However, he also said that the party’s policies would have jarred with many town business chiefs and added: “Our recent polling shows that whilst a large number of businesses want to see some level of reform in Europe, the majority also believe that the UK is better in Europe than out and that an exit would be very detrimental to the country’s growth prospects. With that in mind, UKIP’s views on the economy will have been at odds with those held by large numbers of Doncaster’s business leaders.”
Police said an extra sixty officers had been on duty across the course of the weekend to deal with protests against the conference including a march through the town centre.