The start of this year’s Tour de France generated approximately £130million for the host region economies and was watched at the roadside by 3.5m people, the official event impact review released today reveals.
The report entitled ‘Three Inspirational Days’ examines the economic and social impact of hosting the world’s largest annual sporting event, which began on Saturday 5 July in Leeds with the first of a two-day Grand Départ in Yorkshire followed by a third stage in Cambridgeshire, Essex and London.
The event earned worldwide admiration for its success, with Tour director Christian Prudhomme describing it as “the grandest Grand Départ” in the 111-year history of the race.
The report, led by Leeds City Council as the lead local authority supported by UK Sport, Welcome to Yorkshire, Transport for London and TdFHUB2014 Ltd, examines and evaluates the impact of the event as well as its legacy.
Using surveys and evaluations carried out before, during and after the race, the report reveals the Tour generated more than £128m of economic benefit for the host areas overall, with £102m for Yorkshire and £30m for Cambridgeshire, Essex and London with £19.5m for London (see notes for explanation of variances).
The overall economic benefit figure is expected to rise in the years to come to over £150m as a result of increased tourism and profile and as long-term trade deals secured at the Yorkshire Grand Départ International Business Festival held around the event are realised.
Over the course of the three days the race was watched at the roadside by a total crowd of 4.8million, which when taking into account spectators watching at more than one location and at multiple stages, meant it was seen by 3.5m individuals - 2.3m in Yorkshire and 1.3m on stage three (with approximately 600,000 in London).
Among the key findings of the report are:
- The race was watched in person by approximately one in four people in the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber region
- The event attracted 113,000 visitors from outside the UK, generating £33m into the UK economy
- The Tour provided £24.3m benefit to the accommodation sector in the host areas
- 18.6million people followed the race on television or on other devices in the UK
- 92 per cent of spectators who watched the Yorkshire stages felt the Tour had been positive for the region, as well as 79% of those who attended stage 3
- The Yorkshire Festival 2014, the first of its kind, saw more than 800,000 people attend more than 2,000 performances of arts and culture in the 100 days leading up to the Grand Départ
- The official website letouryorkshire.com received two million visits during the week of the Tour starting, with over eight million page views
Chief Executive of UK Sport Liz Nicholl said:
“The Tour de France this year showcased the UK‘s event hosting capabilities and passionate sports fans at their best. Through our National Lottery funded Gold Event Series, the nation will continue to benefit from the many impacts of hosting major sporting events on home soil.”
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“Hosting the start of the Tour de France elevated Leeds and Yorkshire to a platform it has never been on before. The key to its success was the way the public supported the event in such numbers and with such passion they made it a truly remarkable weekend no-one who saw it will ever forget.”
Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity said:
“We’re absolutely delighted the event brought so much money to the county to help businesses big and small, and there are benefits for the county which are impossible to measure - the profile of Yorkshire around the world has never been higher and this will have a lasting impact on visitor numbers and businesses for years and years to come."
Minister for Sport and Tourism Helen Grant said:
“The Tour de France in the UK was an incredible success and once again showcased how well we put on major sporting events in this country. It was fantastic to see such huge crowds supporting the race in Yorkshire, Cambridge, Essex and London. It showed the passion Britain has for cycling and will have inspired many to take up the sport as well as giving a significant economic boost to the host regions.”
Chair of TdFHUB2014 Ltd Sir Rodney Walker said:
“The three opening stages of the 2014 Tour de France confirmed the UK’s reputation for staging world-class sporting events with a world-class level of organisational flair. It was a great privilege to have been part of it.”
Commissioner of Transport for London Sir Peter Hendy CBE said:
“The Tour de France was a fantastic opportunity for Londoners to experience the excitement of elite cyclists racing through iconic London streets. And they didn’t disappoint; 600,000 people lined London streets and filled our fan parks to enjoy the spectacle – on a work day!
“Hosting the Tour helped support The Mayor of London and TfL’s objective to encourage more people to cycle more safely, more often. This year’s Tour will cement the legacy of sport and cycling participation we continue to see from the London 2012 Games and the 2007 London Grand Départ.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“The Tour in London was the most fantastic spectacle of sport, which delighted and entertained crowds across the capital. People packed the streets for a glimpse of the yellow jersey, as the peloton zoomed past at astonishing speed. The economic benefit of hosting such prestigious sporting events is clear, with images of our brilliant city beamed around the world – encouraging wider tourism and investment.”
President of British Cycling Bob Howden said:
“The three UK stages set a new standard not just in terms of the amazing support but also because it inspired so many people, young and old, to get on their bikes.”
In terms of business approval, 58 per cent of businesses surveyed in Yorkshire and 51 per cent in London agreed that the Tour was the sort of event local authorities should be looking to host more of.
The legacy from the Tour is already being felt, as shown by:
- 44 per cent of spectators living outside Yorkshire returned there in the three months after, with the figure being 40 per cent returning to Cambridgeshire, Essex and London
- Since the Tour, an estimated 30 per cent of spectators have increased their own levels of cycling, which equates to up to one million people cycling more
- 72 per cent of spectators aged 16-24 said they felt inspired to get more active by watching the race
The budget for the 2014 Tour de France in the UK was £27m, funded by local authorities (£11m), £10m of government funding (UK Sport through TdFHUB2014 Ltd) and Transport for London (£6m). Work is ongoing to finalise the local authorities’ costs element.
To see the full and headline reports on ‘Three Inspirational Days’ they will be available at www.leeds.gov.uk/TourDeFrance by 8:30am on Thursday 4 December.