Cumbria gained its best-ever economic boost of more than £5m from holding Stage Two of the Tour of Britain cycle race in September. The economic benefit to Cumbria was much greater this year than in any of the previous six occasions the county has hosted the country’s premier road cycling event, making it a truly magnificent seventh!

Hotels, retailers and transport operators were among many Cumbrian businesses to reap the benefits of the stage, according to independently compiled analysis of the economic benefits of The Tour.

The £5.36m economic benefit for Cumbria, compiled by data analysts Frontline on behalf of event organisers, represents a massive 50% increase on the £3.6m economic boost the county enjoyed when co-hosting two stages of the Tour of Britain in 2015.

This year’s Cumbria stage also saw a huge rise in visitor numbers, with an estimated 175,000 spectators attending the event, up from 105,000 in 2015.

Other key findings in the Frontline analysis include:

  • 60% of all visitors came from outside Cumbria and 34% of visitors stayed overnight.
  • Average spend by overnight visitors was £98 per group.
  • 89% of visitors described the race as ‘very enjoyable’.
  • 58% said they were inspired to cycle more often.
  • 1.165m viewers watched television coverage of the Cumbria Stage on ITV4, plus worldwide TV coverage.

Some of the world’s top pro-riders were among teams racing the 117-mile Carlisle to Kendal stage route, which included some of the communities affected by last winter’s storms and flooding, taking in the reconstructed section of the A591 at Dunmail Raise, the temporary bridge at Pooley Bridge and repaired roads in Carlisle and Kendal. The undoubted highlight was the brutal climb of The Struggle to the top of Kirkstone Pass, where spectators lined the road to urge the riders on.

The Cumbria stage of the 2016 Tour of Britain was sponsored by the following organisations: United Utilities, Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council, University of Cumbria, Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria County Council.

You can relive the action from Stage Two in Cumbria in the below highlights.

Councillor David Southward, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for economic development, said: “The Tour of Britain has once again delivered many benefits to Cumbria – boosting the local economy to the tune of more than £5m, giving people another memorable day and encouraging more cycling in the county. Hosting the Tour of Britain in September was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our county’s magnificent landscape and remind an international audience that Cumbria is back to its glorious best after last winter’s floods.

“The Tour of Britain is one of the highest profile sporting events in the country and bringing the race to Cumbria was a real team effort, with delivery partners and sponsors all supporting what was another marvellous sporting spectacle. We have formed a good relationship with The Tour of Britain and hope to be able to work with them to bring back the tour in future years.”

Mick Bennett, Race Director, The Tour of Britain, said: “Once again the Cumbrian crowds flocked to the roadside to support The Tour of Britain in huge numbers, for what was once again a fantastic stage and testament to the enthusiasm and hard work put in by communities and organisations across Cumbria. From the start in front of packed crowds in Carlisle, via the memorable scenes on The Struggle above Ambleside, to the exciting finish in Kendal, it was a day to remember for The Tour of Britain.”

""

Cllr Colin Glover, Leader Carlisle City Council, said: “The Tour of Britain has once again proved to be a tremendous showcase for Carlisle and a real boost to the Cumbria economy. Carlisle City Council is proud to have played a part in delivering the sporting event and we are delighted that it attracted thousands of spectators from within Cumbria and beyond.” 

Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council Deputy Leader with responsibility for Economic Growth said: “It was great to support the Tour of Britain on its return to Allerdale this year. One of our key priorities is to support sporting events like this. Whilst they have their obvious economic benefits, they are also a great way to showcase the area as a great place to live, work and visit and to promote sport and wellbeing more widely.”

South Lakeland District Council’s Economy portfolio holder Councillor Graham Vincent said: “It’s excellent to see the positive impact that the second stage of the Tour of Britain has had on the county. It’s important to also stress that the benefit to the economy isn’t just going to be from the day of the race – it was also a fantastic sporting spectacle that showcased our wonderful area to a worldwide TV audience. That sort of exposure can only have a beneficial long-term economic effect, and coupled with statistics that show 58% of people have been inspired to cycle more often after watching the Tour of Britain it is an event that also brings positive health benefits as well.’’

Eden District Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor Mike Slee, said: “The Tour of Britain is a fantastic way to show off the unrivalled beauty of our marvellous county to a worldwide TV audience. The economic data analysis by Frontline shows how popular and significant this event is becoming for the Cumbrian economy.”

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive, Lake District National Park, said: “It was fantastic to see so many Tour of Britain spectators come into the Lake District and bring a welcome economic boost to those areas most affected by last year’s floods. We hope the event inspires more people to get out and cycle on some of the great new off-road routes that people can now find right across the Lake District.”

""