Tour of Britain boosts Devon’s economy by millions

Posted on: 9 January 2017

More than 250,000 people lined the county’s streets and roads to watch the Devon Stage of the Tour of Britain  last September according to an independent report.

It reveals that despite the wet weather the Devon Stage on Friday 9 September 2016, hosted by Devon County Council and supported by Teignbridge District Council, East Devon District Council and Dartmoor National Park,  attracted more spectators than the previous 2014 stage  and generated more than £4.26 million for Devon’s economy.

Crowds lined the 150km (93miles) route starting in Sidmouth and taking in town’s including Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Tiverton, Crediton, Moretonhampstead, Chudleigh and Bovey Tracey before finishing at Haytor.

And in what was a major international showcase for the county, the report says that 425,000 people watched the Devon Stage live on TV.

In addition 117,000 viewers watched the ITV4 repeat show of the Devon Stage, the highest repeat show viewing figures of all the eight stages.

The report also highlights that Britain’s biggest professional cycle race saw a total net visitor spend in Sidmouth, the stage start,  of £447,629.

Visitor net spend in East Devon as a whole was £909,102 while  £1,382,474  was spent in Teignbridge.

Of the 250,000 visitors that attended the race,  approximately 45,000 came from outside the region, with around 55,000 people staying overnight.

Spectators got a glimpse of some of cycling’s biggest stars, including Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, two of seven Rio medallists competing.

The race overall was won by Britain’s Steve Cummings, with Xandro Meurisse winning the Skoda King of the Mountain Jersey and Jasper Bovenhuis winning the Yodel Sprints Jersey.

However, it was Team Sky’s Wout Poels who won the Devon stage of the Tour, for the second time in his career, following his victory at Teignmouth in 2010.

The report was based upon the findings of a web-based survey of more than 2,600 Tour spectators. Of those who responded 90% described the race as “very enjoyable” and 61% said they were inspired to cycle more often.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways with responsibility for cycling, said:

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cllr Stuart Hughes

“The impressive turnout and that more people watched the Devon highlights programme than that of any other stage, again demonstrates how well regarded The Tour is in Devon.

“The Tour is now a well established event on the sporting calendar, and I’d like to think that Devon has played a role in helping to achieve that over the years. It’s great to see that this report has found that so many people enjoyed the race and have been inspired to cycle more often.

“That’s part of the legacy that we’ve always aimed for,  and along with the worldwide TV coverage,  it all helps to ensure Devon maintains its reputation as a cycling county.

“The event generated millions of pounds of extra spending by visitors, benefitting businesses including bed and breakfasts, cycling shops, pubs and eateries across the county,  effectively extending the holiday season in Devon into September.

“Although the race won’t visit Devon next year, we’ll be looking at the possibilities for 2018.”

A TV audience of around one million people in the UK tuned into the coverage of the Devon Stage on ITV4. The race was watched by 17million people worldwide.

Race Director Mick Bennett said:

“We’d like to thank Devon County Council for their support in once again putting on a fantastic stage of the Tour of Britain. This year’s Tour was exciting throughout, nowhere more so than in Devon with the memorable finish in Haytor.

“We have worked with Devon County Council over many years and seeing the race grow in size and stature, and showcasing the county’s towns, cities and countryside with some brilliant racing on ITV4 and the Bike Channel.”

4 comments on “Tour of Britain boosts Devon’s economy by millions

  1. Michael L McCormick says:

    It is great that the Tour gives such a boost to the economy and provides interest for so many people. Is it possible to get a copy of this report and also, what were the costs to the County in staff time, policing, etc.

    • Hi Michael
      Unfortunately the economic report isn’t ours, it was commissioned by the Tour of Britain.

      It cost Devon County Council approximately £115k to organise the event, including planning, traffic management, road closures, coordination with emergency services and the physical barriers. These costs are spread over two financial years.

  2. Hazel Jeffery says:

    It’s wonderful that Devon hosts a sporting event such as the Tour of Britain, and without a doubt it brings more money into the region. However, I would like to know how much it cost in total to do such an extensive web survey and how this information will be used to make a decision on the next event? I query if this is a cost effective use of funds in the light of all the cuts that DCC is facing.

    • Hi Hazel

      Thanks for your support. Unfortunately we don’t have the cost of the online survey – the survey is commissioned by the Tour of Britain, and not Devon County Council.

      One of our remits is to promote economic growth in the county, and hosting such an event is always a matter of judgement.

      The figures contained in the economic report is one of the resources we use to help us decide if there is going to be a next Devon Stage.

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