SOUTH Staffordshire is gearing up to welcome tens of thousands of visitors today (Friday, August 19) as the annual V Festival begins.

The popular festival takes place at Weston Park in the village of Weston-under-Lizard, with officers from South Staffordshire Council working with parish councils, other public authorities, festival organisers and local residents over the past few months to prepare for the influx of people to the district.

This work includes having meetings to hear their concerns, keeping residents up to date with what's happening on the site, and providing them with emergency contact details should any issue arise during the festival.

It is estimated that the V Festival brings in an estimated spend of £50.65 per visitor, meaning local businesses beyond the boundaries of the site such as retailers, restaurants and accommodation providers will benefit.

Direct employment in the tourism industry in Staffordshire, of which the V Festival forms a part, is 20,908 jobs, with a further 8,852 jobs arising from the indirect spend.

Councillor Roger Lees, cabinet member for public health protection said: “The V festival at Weston Park is now in its eighteenth year, and each year the work that goes into making it a success for South Staffordshire becomes more streamlined.

“Although the festival only lasts two days, the planning and work that goes into preparing the local community for such an event takes many months.”

A council spokesperson said: “The positive impact on the local economy is a boost for local businesses, especially in terms of the employment that arises from increased spending.

“This means the benefits of hosting the festival are felt far beyond the weekend it is hosted.”