Would you pay to help bring Tour of Britain back to Devon?

PUBLISHED: 11:06 27 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:06 27 September 2016

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.

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Huge crowds turned out when county's stage began in Sidmouth this month

Residents and businesses are being asked if they would like to see the Tour of Britain return to Devon – and if they would put their hand in their pocket for its return.

The county council said this month’s stage – which set off from Sidmouth and finished on Haytor, Dartmoor – drew record crowds, with an estimated 250,000 people lining the route.

But it said hosting the race again will require financing - and one option being considered is crowd-funding.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon’s highways chief, said: “With local government budgets increasingly being squeezed it is prudent to investigate all opportunities. In 2010 when we hosted a stage in Exeter, we worked with local businesses. After talking with other towns, local authorities and stage partners, this appears to be an increasingly-common funding model. Any future Devon stage would likely need a similar cocktail of funding and we wanted to understand whether there was an appetite from the public for this to help bring the race back to Devon. We’ve had a postive response so far, with over 90 per cent saying they’d like to see the Tour of Britain return to Devon.”

Devon County Council (DCC) estimates that for every £1 spent, £30 is generated for the local economy in return.

Some Sidmouth business owners disputed the benefit after this year’s event and said the money is not going in their tills.

DCC contensts that the exposure on international television promotes the county as a destination for cycling, tourism and sport.

Residents can have their say by visiting https://surveys.devon.gov.uk/s/ToBftr/

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