An independent report has found the county stage of OVO Energy Women’s Tour generated a massive £1.8m for the county’s economy.
More than 68,000 people attended the second stage of the international cycling race on June 14, starting in Rushden and finishing in Daventry.
Brought to the county by Northamptonshire County Council, Daventry District Council and East Northamptonshire Council, the county section was the most-viewed stage on television, with more than 279,000 people watching the race on ITV4.
An economic impact study by Frontline found that £1.8m was spent in Northamptonshire with spectators, cyclists and media personnel spending on things like accommodation, food, drink and merchandise.
Of the 68,000 people who watched the race, more than half (55 per cent) came from outside of the county, resulting in a boost for local tourism, while 57 per cent of people said the OVO Energy Women’s Tour has inspired them to cycle more often.
Northamptonshire County Council deputy leader and cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Cllr Cecile Irving-Swift said: “It’s wonderful that scores of people came out to watch the world-class cycling event in Northamptonshire. “Thousands of schoolchildren, tourists and local residents from villages and towns across the county came to cheer the riders generating a real buzz around cycling.”
East Northamptonshire Council leader Cllr Steven North said: “Our aim in hosting the start of stage two of the tour was to boost the local economy with visitors as well as local people, showcase Rushden and the wider district to a global audience and inspire more people to get on their bikes and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
“I’m confident we achieved these goals with 8,000 people joining us at the start line in Rushden Hall Park and going on to spend on average £66 per small family which is great news for local businesses.
“It’s clear to see that events such as The OVO Energy Women’s Tour provide all sorts of benefits to the local area.”
Daventry District Council portfolio holder for community, culture, and leisure Cllr Alan Hills said: “We’re so proud and delighted to host the second stage finish, a year on from our role as the venue for the tour’s grand depart.
“For the second year running the event was a great success, creating a wonderful atmosphere in Daventry town centre and bringing thousands of visitors into our area, with many of our residents, schools and businesses also turning out to support the riders.
“Visitor spending in Daventry district during this year’s event is estimated at about £375,000, which is a welcome boost to our local economy and an excellent return on our investment and work to bring this international sporting event back to our district.”
To find out more about cycling in Northamptonshire, including details of local cycle rides, visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/womenstour.