Norfolk and Suffolk leaders hail Tour of Britain’s economic boost

Tour of Britain going through Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds ANL-150913-204209009
Tour of Britain going through Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds ANL-150913-204209009

Norfolk and Suffolk shared a £4.5 million economic boost from their hosting of a stage of the Tour of Britain last autumn, new figures have revealed.

More than 200,000 fans lined the route of the race from Fakenham to Ipswich for the penultimate stage of the race last September.

Tour of Britain Cycle Race makes it's way through Fakenham Town Centre ANL-151209-200034009

Tour of Britain Cycle Race makes it's way through Fakenham Town Centre ANL-151209-200034009

And sports officials say they want to bring more top cycling action to the county this year.

Figures released by Suffolk County Council this week suggest the two counties benefited from a combined ecomomic boost of around £4.5 million, of which Norfolk earned £2.3 million.

Eighty-six per cent of visitors were believed to be from within East Anglia with 14 per cent from further afield. Accommodation, merchandise and the retail sector were also among the main areas to benefit from the race.

And officials are looking to cash in on that interest with more top events.

Ben Jones, director of Active Norfolk, said: “It was a truly fantastic day, and after all the planning, it was a huge success with over 110,000 people coming out and lining the route through Norfolk.

“A fantastic day was had by all, proving once again that as a county we can host these major sporting events.

“Looking ahead we now hope to bring the Women’s Tour to Norfolk in 2016 and are currently working to find sponsors to make this happen.”

The stage was the first time the Tour had passed through Norfolk and Suffolk since 2012.

And Mick Bennett, Race Director for Sweetspot said: “We were delighted to continue our excellent relationship with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils in 2015.

“We know that we can always count on great support for our events in East Anglia,

Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for health, said the event had also encouraged people to become more active.

He 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.”