Somerset and Devon County Councils have announced that the 2009 Tour of Britain brought in £5.8 million of spending into the two south west counties.
An estimated 230,000 people turned up to watch two consecutive stages of the British race hosted by Somerset and Devon. Between them, visitors to the race spent £5.8 million in local shops and facilities, according to an independent survey carried out by consultation company, Ekosgen.
“The Tour of Britain has yet again proven to be a great success in the South West,” said Councillor David Huxtable, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for resources.
“The economic benefits for Somerset have far exceeded Somerset County Council’s expectations according to the survey, which is great news for local businesses – particularly in these difficult economic times.”
“The partnership with Devon County Council has worked very well,” Huxtable continued. “We look forward to working with them again in 2010 and maintaining the South West’s reputation for holding the two best stages of Tour of Britain racing.”
In November, Tour of Britain organisers announced that over four million people had watched the race – one million as roadside spectators and the remainder on television. An estimated 150,000 watched the race’s finale in Westminster, London.
The 2009 Tour of Britain was won by Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen, who has signed from the Columbia-HTC team to the British-based Team Sky for 2010.
Details of the 2010 Tour of Britain have yet to be released, although a statement issued by Devon County Council in April announced that they had signed a four-year deal to host a stage of the race.
Riders climb out of Hatherleigh, Devon, at the stage of stage seven of the 2009 Tour of Britain. Britain’s Ben Swift went on to win the stage in Yeovil, Somerset