Grand Depart proved a tour de force

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Published: Thursday 4th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The Tour de France’s visit to the UK this summer was watched by crowds totalling 4.8 million people and generated around £128million, according to a report.

The Three Inspirational Days report examines the economic and social impact of the hosting of the opening two stages of the Tour in Yorkshire and stage three between Cambridge and London.

The Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour attracted massive crowds on the weekend of July 5 and 6 in Yorkshire as the riders went first from Leeds to Harrogate, through the Yorkshire Dales, and then from York to Sheffield.

The report claimed survey information showed that a total crowd of 4.8million people watched the race at the roadside – 3.3million in Yorkshire and 1.5million in Cambridgeshire, Essex and London.

Taking into account people who watched more than one stage, the report said 3.5million individual or “unique” spectators turned out to watch.

Of these, 2.3million were in Yorkshire and 1.3million on stage three, with about 600,000 of these in London.

For the Yorkshire stages, 57% of those who watched were from the county, with 40% from the rest of the UK and 3% from abroad.

It said a quarter of everyone living in the Yorkshire and the Humber region came out to watch and the Tour attracted 113,000 visitors from outside the UK, generating £33million into the UK economy.

The report said the Grand Depart generated more than £128million of economic benefit for the host areas overall, with the overall economic benefit figure expected to top £150million due to the effect of increased tourism and long term trade deals.

Minister for Sport and Tourism Helen Grant said: “The Tour de France in the UK was an incredible success and once again showcased how well we put on major sporting events in this country. ”

Chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire, Gary Verity, who led the county’s bid to secure the event, said: “We’re absolutely delighted the event brought so much money to the county to help businesses big and small, and there are benefits for the county which are impossible to measure – the profile of Yorkshire around the world has never been higher and this will have a lasting impact on visitor numbers and businesses for years and years to come.”

The report was commissioned by Leeds City Council, supported by UK Sport, Welcome To Yorkshire, Transport for London and TdFHUB2014 Ltd – the company set up to run the event.

The report said the legacy of the event included an estimated 30% of spectators who said they have increased their own levels of cycling following the Tour visit.

It said 72% of spectators aged 16-24 said they felt inspired to get more active by watching the race

President of British Cycling Bob Howden said: “The three UK stages set a new standard not just in terms of the amazing support but also because it inspired so many people, young and old, to get on their bikes.”

The three days of the Tour in the UK cost £27 illion to put on. This was funded with £11million from the local authorities involved, £10million from the Government through UK Sport and £6million from Transport for London.

Published: Thursday 4th December 2014 by The News Editor

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