The Suffolk and Norfolk economies received a bumper windfall of around £4.5 million in the summer as a result of hosting stage 7 of the Tour of Britain on Saturday 12th September. This was the first time in three years that Suffolk and Norfolk had hosted the Tour, following the hugely successful stage in 2012, in which London Olympic Gold Medallist, Bradley Wiggins took centre stage.
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 spectators gathered to watch Andre Greipel cross the line to win by the smallest of margins.
The event was organised by Sweetspot in conjunction with Suffolk County Council, Norfolk County Council and stage partners Adnams.
Emma Hibbert, Adnams Marketing Director said: “Adnams is proud to have supported the Tour since 2011 and congratulates Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils in securing such a prestigious high profile event. The Tour has clear benefits both economically and by inspiring us all to get out on our bikes.”
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, Cllr 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 of116,487,600.
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 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.
Suffolk’s and Norfolk’s county councils worked closely together with the race organisers and a variety of other partners and agencies throughout the planning and delivery of the stage to ensure it was a roaring success.
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, and fans were rewarded with a memorable day’s racing and an exceptionally close sprint finish in Ipswich between Andre Greipel and Elia Viviani.”
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