Women’s Tour ‘buzz’ brings over £1m economic impact to region’s economy
PUBLISHED: 27 October 2022
The Women’s Tour, Britain’s longest running women’s stage cycling race and part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, not only wowed spectators on its first stage from Colchester to Bury St Edmunds this summer but also helped generate almost £1.1m of net economic benefit according to an independent survey out today (Friday, 28 October) from race organisers, Sweetspot.
On Monday, 6 June 2022, 97 riders from 17 international teams sped through Essex and Suffolk for Stage 1: Colchester to Bury St Edmunds. Following the tour’s ‘Grand Depart’ from the Sports Park at Colchester Northern Gateway, the race passed through Colchester High Street, Layer-de-la-Haye, Abberton, Old Heath and Greenstead before heading towards Manningtree and into Suffolk through Bildeston, Stowmarket and Lavenham to the finish line on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds.
The event was hosted by Colchester Borough Council and Suffolk County Council in partnership with West Suffolk and Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and supported by Colchester Amphora Trading, Suffolk Growth, Colchester BID, East of England Co-op and Vertas.
The ‘2022 Women’s Tour Economic Impact Report’, based on findings from a web-based survey of 527 Women’s Tour spectators, reveals that over 45,500 spectators lined the 88-mile route on the day, with more than 15,000 of these coming to see the event from outside of their local areas and over 80% pledging to visit the area again. The local hospitality industry also benefited with 8,000 attendees enjoying overnight stays and spending on average £138.80; whilst the average spend for day visitors was £52.96.
The one-hour TV Highlights programme shown on ITV4 and Eurosport generated a combined audience of 460,500, showcasing the region to a global audience, promoting the area as a destination of choice for tourism.
Cllr Adam Fox, Deputy Leader of Colchester Borough Council,said: “The Women’s Tour was a fantastic way to showcase Colchester on the world stage. Now we have the proof that it also delivered a major boost to the local economy. This year, we saw more residents and visitors than ever come along to cheer on the riders as they raced through our towns and villages. That means money spent in local businesses and delivering jobs and prosperity for our area. Hosting the ‘Grand Depart’ from our new Sports Park allowed us to showcase this wonderful facility and inspire even more people, of all ages and abilities, to keep healthy and active.”
Cllr Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Protection at Suffolk County Council, said: “It’s always a pleasure to host the Women’s Tour here in Suffolk. The race brings with it a feeling of pride and a real boost to residents, particularly to those who live along the route. It also showcases to a global audience all that Suffolk has to offer for visitors to the county.
“Sporting events like these are a great way to encourage residents to be more active, with 61% of spectators saying they were inspired to cycle more often following this year’s race.”