Tour of Britain generates £3.5m
The Tour of Britain cycle race, which hit the highways of Cheshire East in September, has been hailed a great success, generating additional revenue to the borough of £3.5m
The event – on September 6 – boosted visitor income to an estimated £5.45m.
The 300,000 spectators who lined the route, was the highest number for the tour and equal to the turnout for the final stage in London.
Cheshire East Council deputy leader David Brown said: “This has been a truly fantastic event and our faith in the residents and businesses of Cheshire East, in the support they gave to the event, has been thoroughly rewarded.
“We have answered our critics, who said we should not have been doing this but the legacy value of the race – both economically and in terms of other outcomes – is without precedent in this borough.
“To stage an event on this scale – involving our Olympian cyclists, with 1.23 million television viewers and the huge profile and prestige this has brought to Cheshire East – has been a great triumph for the council, the Tour of Britain and, most of all, our residents and businesses.”
A full report on the legacy value of the event, based on independent research, has been prepared and presented to the council’s cabinet.*
In addition to the direct economic and financial impact, the event has contributed to significant community engagement around cycling and healthy lifestyle. Moreover, with the volunteer contribution, including marshalling of the event, it all combined to produce an incalculable benefit to communities across the borough.
Various community events, including arts and cultural activity and competitions in schools, all contributed to the success of the race, which took place on September 6, starting in Congleton and finishing in Tatton Park, in Knutsford.
The report states the event: ‘provided a number of areas of additional benefit, including business development, media profile, healthy living promotion, community engagement and destination promotion.’
It added ‘It provides opportunities to give a legacy focus to cycling development, participation, active lifestyles, promotion of cycle networks and sustainable transport initiatives.”
The council’s cycling strategy has underpinned a successful bid to the Department of Transport for sustainable travel funding.
A grant of £350,000 will be used to support walking and cycling initiatives and promote healthy lifestyles.
The council will drive forward a programme to make cycling an active and healthy alternative to motorised transport through improved cycling infrastructure and facilities, attractive more cycling events and addressing perceived barriers to cycling.
The UK’s biggest annual free-to-attend sporting event is followed by more than 1.62 million spectators across the eight days of stages across Britain. Data gathered for Cheshire East show that:
- 300,000 spectators watched the stage – equal to London
- 63% of spectators were from outside Cheshire East
- The stage generated £5.45m of gross economic activity for UK
- Net economic benefit direct to Cheshire East was £3.5m
- 59% of spectators inspired to cycle more often
- 93% recognition of Cheshire East Council as Stage sponsor
- At £2.489m GVA IT compares favourably with the impacts of other, similarly sized events in the UK
- 63m viewers watched the Tour of Britain on ITV4 (live and highlights)
- 23m viewers for Stage 3 on ITV4 (2nd highest stage viewing fig)
- Exceptional volunteering engagement throughout the borough
Cheshire East Council invested more than £267,000 to attract this national event, generate £3.5m in economic impact for the borough’s economy and provide a real opportunity for the communities of the area. Through its Skills and Growth Company, the event secured sponsorship packages totalling more than £100,000 with support from more than 20 businesses – the highest level of sponsorship for any stage of the tour.
Sixty-three per cent of spectators travelled from outside the borough and the race, which featured seven Olympic cyclists including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, has put Cheshire East firmly on the map as a visitor destination.
The full report can be viewed at http://cheshiretourofbritain.co.uk/on-the-day/post-race/