Tour of Britain gives Sidmouth £450,000 boost

Tour of Britain 2016 stage six from Sidmouth. Ref exb 36-16SH 7421 Picture: Simon Horn.

Tour of Britain 2016 stage six from Sidmouth. Ref exb 36-16SH 7421 Picture: Simon Horn. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth netted nearly £450,000 from the stage start of the Tour of Britain, an independent report has revealed.

The event boosted Devon’s economy by £4.26million as more than 250,000 lined the 93-mile route, which ended with a hill climb up Haytor on Dartmoor.

Research found that 425,000 watched the county’s stage live on television and another 117,000 viewers watched the highlights show – the highest of all the eight stages.

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

According to the report, the net visitor spend in Sidmouth was £447,629.

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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.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, who has responsibility for cycling at Devon County Council, said: “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.

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“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.”

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, added: “East Devon certainly benefitted from all the visitors who came to watch on the day and I’m convinced that the television coverage which showcased our glorious countryside – including our World Heritage Jurassic Coastline - will attract more visitors in the years to come who are keen to see it for themselves.”

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