SOUTHEND was given a £3.3million economic boost by the Herd In The City art trail, it has been revealed.

The art trail, which was backed by the Echo, attracted more than 90,000 visitors, new figures have shown.

The initiative, which took place last summer, also raised £580,000 for Havens Hospices which recently held a celebratory event to thank all those involved.

Sharing findings from a recent evaluation survey, the charity, which provides specialist care for adults and children with incurable conditions, highlighted the vast economic and social benefits for Southend.

A survey it conducted revealed 98 per cent of people rated their Herd In The City experience as excellent or good. It also instilled a sense of community among residents, with 89 per cent agreeing it brought a sense of community to the area.

Wild In Art is a leading producer of public art events and joined forces with Havens Hospices to create Herd In The City.

Charlie Langhorne, managing director and co-founder of Wild In Art, said: “Herd In The City created a feel-good factor right across Southend and the surrounding area.

“Our aim was always for the trail to bring real value to the local area as well as raising funds for Havens Hospices, and I’m delighted to see the results of the evaluation.”

The event saw 118 elephant sculptures transform Southend into an outdoor art gallery.

One trailgoer said: “'It really brightened the city. The elephants were very well placed and provided added interest to visiting Southend.”

While another shared: “They brightened up the town, raised money for charity, made us visit other areas that we don’t often go to, like Leigh-on-Sea, and spend quality time doing the trail with my daughter. We loved every minute.”

The art trail encouraged healthier habits with more than three quarters of participants stating it had a positive effect on their health and wellbeing.

Vanessa Harvey, project manager of Herd In The City at Havens Hospices, said: “These impressive results further highlight the tremendous impact that Herd In The City had on our local community and its significant contribution to the local economy.”

The project was made possible due to the support of more than 45 local businesses, each playing their part in making the art trail a success.