11 November 2014

Tour of Britain bike race boosts city’s economy by £1.29 million

The UK’s biggest bike race, the Tour of Britain, added over £1 million to the city’s economy when it came to Brighton in September.

Figures released by the Tour’s organisers, SweetSpot, showed net visitor expenditure on Brighton & Hove’s economy was £1.29 million (net visitor expenditure for the stage overall was £3 million). Those who attended on the day spent an average of nearly £52, while for those staying for two days the figure increased to more than £75.

Research also showed that 55% of people surveyed were inspired to cycle more after the event.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the city’s economic development and culture committee said: “We had a fantastic day and a thrilling finish on Madeira Drive. It was great for the city and having the country’s most prestigious bike race following on from the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games has helped encourage more people to be active and take up cycling.”

Brighton hosted the finish of Stage 7 of the race on 13th September for the first time in the race’s history. The Tour of Britain has the biggest live attendance of any sporting event in the UK. An estimated 50,000 people watched the finale on Madeira Drive.

This year’s race attracted the world’s top riders, including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. Starting in Camberley, in Surrey, it travelled through West and East Sussex and drew huge crowds for the famous climb of Ditchling Beacon before finishing on Marine Drive.

More than half (56%) of the spectators came with their families.

The stage was made possible thanks to West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council.

More than 500,000 people watched Stage 7 live on ITV4 and 555,000 watched the highlights while another 266,000 saw repeats. Julien Vermote won the stage, with Dylan van Baarle winning the overall race.

The 2014 Tour of Britain began in Liverpool and finished eight days later in London. This year’s Tour was the first ranked at the 2.HC level (one level down from the Tour de France) following an upgrade during the winter by the UCI, the sport’s governing body.