Cycling boost to Suffolk economy
The Suffolk and Norfolk economies received a bumper windfall of around £4.5 million in the summer as a result of hosting the Tour of Britain.
Some of the world’s top riders raced through towns and villages in the two counties in September including Hadleigh, Bildeston, Wattisham, Semer, Upper Layham and Raydon.
The Stage 7 race was the first time in three years that Suffolk and Norfolk had hosted the Tour, following a hugely successful stage in 2012.
An estimated 220,000 spectators lined the route from the start at Fakenham in Norfolk through to the stage finish in Ipswich, where an estimated 25,000 people gathered to watch Andre Greipel cross the line to win in a sprint finish.
The event was organised by Sweetspot in conjunction with Suffolk County Council, Norfolk County Council and stage partners Adnams.
The areas of the local economy which saw the most significant expenditure were; food and drink, petrol/parking, local travel, shopping, accommodation and merchandise.
Around 86 per cent of spectators on the day were from the East of England, with the remaining 14 per cent visiting from further afield.
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, Tony Goldson, said: “The Suffolk stage attracted around 110,000 spectators along the route as it passed through some of the beautiful Suffolk countryside.
“It really did show off our county in the best possible way.
“Hosting these events in our communities always inspires people to get on their bike. Suffolk’s Year of Cycling is a clear demonstration of our aspiration to be the most active county.
“The Tour feedback suggests that around 66 percent of those who came to watch the stage had been inspired to cycle more, which is great news.”
Three hours of live TV coverage, along with repeat highlight programmes of the stage were broadcast internationally through 13 TV stations, showcasing the two counties to an estimated global audience of 116,487,600.
The stage was also covered extensively by local, regional and national media, helping to profile Suffolk and Norfolk as a destination of choice for the UK tourism market.
Mick Bennett, race director for Sweetspot said: “We were delighted to continue our excellent relationship with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils in 2015 with the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain, which attracted so many fans to the roadside across both counties.
“We know that we can always count on great support for our events in East Anglia.”