December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Amie Keeley
Saturday, December 29, 2012
MORE than £1million was injected into Suffolk’s economy from this year’s Tour of Britain cycle race.
Newly knighted Bradley Wiggins and former world road race champion Mark Cavendish had a magnetic affect on this year’s race as spectator figures smashed all previous records.
Around 180,000 people turned out to watch the Suffolk and Norfolk stage of the event on September 9 with thousands more tuning in to watch on television.
And with the crowds came a welcome economic boost to the county. According to Suffolk County Council, an estimated £1.1m was spent in Suffolk, up on last year’s figure of £850,000.
It is thought more people staying overnight in local hotels during the event helped drive figures up this year.
The tour started at Ipswich Waterfront where people flocked to catch a glimpse of Tour de France champion and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins. The cycling sensation was also crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
The race took participants through Suffolk, via Melton, Aldeburgh and Leiston, to Norfolk Showground.
Feedback from spectators after the race also indicated positive results.
A survey carried out following the Tour of Britain revealed that in Suffolk over 85% of those asked said the race was very enjoyable whilst over 70% of people asked said they were inspired to cycle more regularly.
Councillor Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member responsible for sport, said: “I am delighted to see such an increase in the number of people taking an interest in the Tour of Britain here in Suffolk.
“The increase in economic benefit that the Tour has brought to the county will have made a really positive impact on tourism and our local hospitality industry.
“It has been an incredibly positive year for cycling and although Suffolk has always been a county of keen cyclists, I am certain that we will continue to see even more people in Suffolk to get on their bikes and give it a go for themselves.”