Cycle race brought �6 million to region

THIS year s Tour of Britain generated almost �6 million for the South West economy with almost a quarter of a million people turning out to see the two stages in the region, Devon and Somerset County Councils have said. An independent survey carried out

THIS year's Tour of Britain generated almost �6 million for the South West economy with almost a quarter of a million people turning out to see the two stages in the region, Devon and Somerset County Councils have said.

An independent survey carried out by consultation company Ekosgen, has estimated that an additional �5.8 million was spent in Devon and Somerset over the two days that Britain's top cycle race was in the region.

More than 230,000 spectators lined the roads of the two stages from Frome to Bideford and Hatherleigh to Yeovil. Thousands of children from schools along the route were among those who turned out after receiving visits from the South West Bike Academy, which gave a presentation about the benefits of cycling to approximately 10,000 pupils in the weeks leading up to the race.

Spectators in Bideford saw Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen of Team Columbia-HTC take his fourth stage win of the Tour on his way to eventually winning the overall Yellow Jersey. And Yeovil cheered home the first British stage winner since 2007 as Ben Swift of Team Katusha took his first professional victory.


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Councillor William Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Strategic Planning, said: "Devon and Somerset can feel proud to have hosted some of the most spectacular racing of this year's Tour, and to hear that more than 230,000 spectators lined the route shows the enthusiasm for the event here in the region. These incredible figures are great news for the local economy and it shows the advantage of the two authorities working together. I'm sure visitors who came to watch the race in the area will have seen what the region has to offer and hopefully they will return again next year."

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "The crowds at both South West stages in Devon and Somerset were incredible and it gave the race a really special atmosphere. I think the amount of spectators and the money generated by hosting the Tour clearly demonstrates there is a great deal of support for cycling in Devon. I'm sure we can continue to build on this success and put Devon on the map as a perfect destination for a cycling holiday."

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Councillor David Huxtable, Somerset County Council's Cabinet Member for Resources, said: "The Tour of Britain has yet again proven to be a great success in the South West. The economic benefits for Somerset have far exceeded Somerset County Council's expectations according to the survey, which is great news for local businesses - particularly in these difficult economic times.

"The partnership with Devon County Council has worked very well. We look forward to working with them again in 2010 and maintaining the South West's reputation for holding the two best stages of Tour of Britain racing."

To view the highlights of this year's Tour of Britain South West stages, visit www.youtube.com/SWTOB

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