Cycle Tour a boost to Devon's economy

THE Tour of Britain could provide a welcome windfall to the economy of Devon and Somerset later this month. Devon and Somerset County Councils are working in partnership to host two stages of the Tour in the South West on September 17 and 18. The hope

THE Tour of Britain could provide a welcome windfall to the economy of Devon and Somerset later this month.

Devon and Somerset County Councils are working in partnership to host two stages of the Tour in the South West on September 17 and 18.

The hope is that people will make the most of two days and be tempted to enjoy an extended stay in the region.

Last year's Tour of Britain was the most successful ever, watched by a record number of spectators. An estimated 107,000 people lined the route of the stage in Devon and Somerset, up 45 per cent on the 2007 figure. With two stages in the South West, that figure has the potential to increase again this year.


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A study of the economic impact of last year's Tour also found that the South West stage generated �1.859million

Councillor William Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Strategic Planning, said: "Hosting the Tour raises the profile of Devon, both as a holiday destination for all visitors as well as for cycling tourism. The national TV coverage provides exposure for people to see what our beautiful county has to offer as a place to live, work, visit, or invest."

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Stage Six of the Tour starts in Frome on September 17 and will take the riders across Exmoor as they cross into Devon, and head to the finish at Bideford.

The following day is the penultimate day of the race, with Stage Seven setting out from Hatherleigh before passing through Devon's rolling countryside and many of its market and coastal towns before heading back into Somerset, where it finishes in Yeovil.

Anyone inspired by the action from the first day in the South West, can cycle from the finish in Bideford to the start at Hatherleigh the following day, by travelling along The Tarka Trail.

For more information about the South West stages of the Tour of Britain visit: www.southwesttourofbritain.co.uk.

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