News article

GREAT Britain Festival in Spain

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Spain opens up to the best of the British fashion, culture and food and drink, in a 3 week celebration of why Britain is GREAT.

The `GREAT Britain Festival´ was organised by UKTI, the British Embassy in Madrid and the British Council in Madrid, running across Spain from 17 October until 9 November 2014. The objective was to use a new ambitious cross-sectorial platform to:

  • promote the UK as the most creative and innovative nation on earth
  • generate business opportunities by showcasing fashion, food and drink and culture industries


Shopping is GREAT at El Corte Inglés stores

Partnering with El Corte Inglés, the UKTI’s largest ever in-store promotion Shopping is GREAT campaign ran throughout department stores in Spain and Portugal. The best of the UK – including food, fashion and literature - was offered raising the profile of British products.

The campaign was rolled out in the cities of Madrid, Valencia, Marbella, Barcelona, Bilbao and Lisbon. Local customers experienced first-hand British brands in the Spanish market. It involved:

  • more than 150 British companies
  • 600 products, including 40 new brands in womenswear, menswear, accessories and cosmetics

In addition to this, a wide range of over 600 food products were displayed at 35 El Corte Inglés stores.

The British Ambassadors to Spain and Portugal, Simon Manley and Kirsty Hayes, launched the Shopping is GREAT campaign in Madrid and Lisbon, respectively.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), Dominic Jermey said:

I am delighted to see how the commercial section at the Embassy and El Corte Ingles have worked together on this ambitious project. It’s a pleasure to see such a great variety of British food, fashion and culture. The initiative promises to be a success for everybody involved.

Initial feedback from both British and Spanish participants was overwhelmingly positive. British brands highlighted the great opportunity this has created for their businesses to grow in Spain. Local consumers were delighted with the wide range of British products on offer, especially food and drink.

Cultural activities

As part of the `GREAT Britain Festival´, a series of cultural activities run in different cities:

  • children’s story-telling at El Corte Inglés stores
  • book signings with the British authors John Carlin and Chris Stewart, at El Corte Inglés stores
  • a British Education Fair held in Madrid and Barcelona, with 40 British Universities and English language Schools exhibitors, and over a thousand visitors
  • London Symphony Orchestra’s concert at the Residence of the British Ambassador in Madrid

The BAFTA Short Film Screening packed out Conde Duque, one of Madrid’s largest cultural centres, for a screening of the best British Short Films from the 2014 BAFTA awards.

Five GREAT shorts, including animation, comedy, drama and a combination of all 3 showed Spanish audiences the talent on offer from the UK’s film industry. Film lovers as well as Embassy and British Council contacts attended the screening, helping to get the campaign off to a good start.

Collaboration with the organisers of the 2014 edition of Bilbao’s BIME Music Festival saw the UK become the guest country for the industry conference and the music festival that followed.

A conference, opened by HMA Simon Manley, dedicated a session to ‘what makes the UK a world leader in cultural industries’. This heard from Spanish start-ups in the music industry that are receiving assistance from UKTI to expand to the UK.

The festival that followed featured performances from British rockers the Kooks, Placebo Mogwai and The Divine Comedy. With over 20,000 people attending the festival, the fact that British Music is GREAT was evident to experts and concert-goers alike.

Do not miss the `GREAT Britain Festival´ image library here

UKTI Spain contacts

Susana Ruiz-Capillas, Head of Communications Team, Iberia