The first ever Women’s Tour, which started in Oundle, brought £500,000 into the county, according to an independent report.
Stage one of the cycling event took place on May 7, with the Grand Depart in Oundle and an exciting stage finish in Northampton town centre.
Approximately 55,000 people lined the Northamptonshire route on the first day and a survey carried out after the event found that 54 per cent of these spectators came from outside of the county.
It’s estimated that during stage one of the Women’s Tour, spectators spent a total of £449,812, of which £386,362 was spent in Northamptonshire. Plus a further £88,000 was spent in the county on hotel and overnight accommodation by event organisers, cyclists and media personnel.
The survey also showed that 75 per cent of people were inspired to cycle more often after seeing the Women’s Tour.
Deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council Cllr Heather Smith said: “We are so proud to have hosted the first stage of the inaugural Women’s Tour and pleased that it brought nearly £500,000 into Northamptonshire’s economy and showcased our beautiful county to spectators and TV viewers around the world.
“Another particularly welcome statistic is that the event inspired 75 per cent of spectators to get on their bikes. This is great news, as one of the key reasons we supported this event was to increase the profile of sport and cycling in particular and encourage people to get more active.”
Cllr Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “Cycling is an easy way for people to get more active and this can make a real difference to people’s lives.
“Physical activity is essential for good health, but in Northamptonshire only 31.4 per cent of men and 25.6 per cent of women meet the government guidelines of three lots of 30 minutes of moderate exercise every week.
“This inactivity is becoming a serious public health problem, and is responsible for 17 per cent of early deaths in the UK plus it costs the UK economy up to £10 billion a year.
“I’m very pleased that the Women’s Tour has inspired people to cycle more and I hope that people take up the many opportunities on offer in the county to get cycling.”
Dr Jim Lusted, senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise at the University of Northampton, a key partner for the Northamptonshire stage of the Women’s Tour, said: “We know from previous research that hosting sport events like the Women’s Tour can bring enormous benefits local communities and businesses. This economic impact report is welcome because it evidences just how much economic value there is in hosting events like this; it also seems to have left a legacy by inspiring spectators to want to get on their bikes.
“What is most encouraging, however, is that female sport was able to generate such significant income which bodes well for the growth of women’s professional sports in the future and will give girls more female sporting role models to look up to and hopefully want to emulate.”
Following the Women’s Tour a wide range of cycling activities are taking place across the county, from guided bike rides to family days out as well as Northampton’s new Cycle CoNNect bike hire scheme. For more information people can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/cycling