A report commissioned by Calderdale Council has revealed that last year’s Tour de France brought an extra £12.5 million into the area.
An additional £200,000 was brought into Calderdale by the Yorkshire Festival, which attracted visitors to view and participate in an extensive arts and cultural events programme in the 100 day build up to the Grand Depart.
The research by Welcome to Yorkshire examined the economic and social impact of the Tour, which travelled through Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Ripponden and Greetland as part of Stage 2 of the race on Sunday 6 July 2014.
The report found that £2.8 million was spent on accommodation, including hotels and B&Bs, whilst a further £9.3 million was spent by visitors during the event.
Over 3.3 million people lined the route in Yorkshire with 340,000 people watching the race as it travelled through Calderdale. Approximately 160,000 spectators travelled into Calderdale from other areas to watch the race and it is estimated 2% were from overseas. An average of 1.2 million viewers watched Stage 2 of the race on ITV. A further 516,000 viewers watched the race on ITV4.
A survey of spectators revealed that 44%, or an estimated 130,000 people in Calderdale, felt inspired by the Tour to cycle more, and a quarter of those who never cycle said they felt encouraged to take up the hobby.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Stephen Baines said:
“I’m delighted by these findings, which show the clear benefits that participation in the Tour de France brought to Calderdale. This can be measured both in terms of the immediate impact on our local economy and, in the longer term, the legacy.
“We know there are keen cyclists who will want to tackle the challenges of the route themselves this summer. There are also spectators and viewers who will want to explore our beautiful landscapes and quirky towns, bringing lasting benefits for our tourism industry.
“It’s also great to hear that more people than ever are taking to their bikes, which has such great health benefits. It would be fantastic to think that hosting the Tour in Calderdale may have inspired the next Sir Bradley Wiggins!”
Support for the event locally was overwhelming with 91% of residents agreeing that the Tour had been good for the area.
Calderdale is developing a long term plan to get more people cycling more often which will include extra coaches, leaders and volunteers; increasing the number of places to cycle; building skills and confidence and holding more cycling events and activities in the area.
The full report is available on the Visit Calderdale(external link) website.