Tour of Britain boost for South Lakeland

Tour of Britain 2016
Spectators line the streets at the second stage finish in Kendal
30 November 2016

Figures show that the Tour of Britain’s visit to South Lakeland in September helped generate £1.3 million for the local economy.

But according to our Economy portfolio holder Councillor Graham Vincent, that may only be the tip of the iceberg and the longer-term benefits could far outweigh the impact of the day itself.

Councillor Vincent said: “It’s great to see the positive economic impact that the second stage of the Tour of Britain has had on the county and on South Lakeland.

“Independent analysis of the stage shows an estimated £5.3 million economic benefit for Cumbria, which is up 50% on the 2015 figure, with South Lakeland getting an estimated £1.3 million.

“But 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.’’

According to the economic impact report by data analysts Frontline, on behalf of the race organisers, an estimated 1.1 million viewers worldwide watched television coverage of the Cumbria stage on ITV4, with the channel’s highlights show featuring the racing between Carlisle and the finish in Kendal attracting the highest viewing figures of any of the eight stages.

The Tour of Britain was shown in 20 broadcast markets, including north America, Asia and Africa, as well as all across Europe.

It also generated extensive coverage in regional and national media, as well as the cycling press and social media, which saw tweets about the race get 13.5 million impressions over the month-long event.

In Cumbria it is estimated that 175,000 people attended the race, with 40,000 of those watching the racing in South Lakeland, including the ‘King of the Mountains’ climb up the Struggle to the top of Kirkstone Pass and the stage finish in Kendal, which was managed by us.

60% of those attending came from outside the county, 34% of visitors stayed overnight and 58% of people questioned said they had been inspired to cycle more often after watching the Tour of Britain.

Councillor Vincent said: “We are pleased to have helped bring this very successful event to South Lakeland.

“Having world class athletes competing here, attracting thousands of visitors and helping the local economy was fantastic.

“If some of the millions of people who watched around the world are now inspired to pay us a visit after seeing the beautiful Lake District landscape then the legacy of the Tour of Britain will continue to be felt for years to come.’’

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