By Daniel Hunter

UK singles support £3.6 billion of consumption a year in their pursuit of love, according to research released by match.com, the site most recommended by singles.

Supplemented by The Centre for Economic Business Research (Cebr), the survey of 1,000 British singles shows that almost 37 million dates take place each year and the average couple spend £103 on each date. And, with appetite for dating soaring match.com has launched its new service, match.com nights - a series of nights out in a pub or bar where singles can go to meet other singles.

Many sectors of the economy benefit from dating, with venues on the high street by far the biggest. The overall spend on entertainment, restaurants and bars in 2013 was £2.1 billion. This was up from £1.3 billion in 2012.

With the research revealing that dating singles spend an average of £29.40 in restaurants, and an average of £18.86 in bars and pubs, it makes sense for match to help its members combine the two with match.com nights. match.com nights make it easier for members to meet a potential date in a fun and relaxed atmosphere: match is hosting up to 24 events per week in 66 bars and pubs in the UK, with an average of 80 people attending each night.

Karl Gregory, MD UK & Ireland, match.com, said: “Bars and pubs remain the most popular places to date, so we’ve launched match.com nights in partnership with carefully selected establishments up and down the country to give our members more chances to meet a partner, whilst also trying a different venue. Our members get to meet potential dates in a fun environment, and the bars benefit from the extra custom. It’s the perfect partnership.”

Ben Warren, manager of Hirst’s Yard and Bourbon 51% in Leeds, comments: “Since hosting match.com nights we have seen an increase in trade, but more importantly we are seeing many customers from the events returning. This activity makes a valuable contribution to the success of our business.”

Daniel Solomon, Cebr economist and main author of the report, comments: “With just over three million active daters in the UK, there is no denying that their activity has a noticeable economic impact. Dating makes an essential contribution to the high street, directly helping a range of industries like retail, food and drink and entertainment.”

Other sectors getting a boost include the transport industry, to the tune of £297 million per year. This is slightly down on previous years, perhaps indicating that daters are opting to stay closer to home so that they can spend more on the date itself.

The average dater also spends almost £281 every year on clothing, cosmetics and beauty when specifically preparing for a date. This gives fashion retailers and beauty salons up and down the country a cash injection of £900 million. This is up almost five per cent on last year.

The economic contribution of dating also varies significantly by region. In London, dating accounts for £880 million of consumer spending each year. In the South, Midlands and East, these figures are £700 million, £620 million and £250 million respectively. As an economic contribution, some 69% of all date related spending in the UK is spent in these four regions.

In the North and Wales, you get more bang for your buck when on the dating scene, with the average date costing just £88 in the North and £73 in Wales.

The figures were calculated following a poll of daters across the UK and supplemented by economic analysis from the Centre for Economic Business Research (Cebr).

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