30,000 spectators and £1m for le Tour

Thomas Voeckler, Direct Energie, crosses the finish line in Scarborough's North Bay to win the stage and take the overall honours from Team Sky's Nico Roche.
Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3.  Middlesborough to Scarborough.  1 May 2016.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Thomas Voeckler, Direct Energie, crosses the finish line in Scarborough's North Bay to win the stage and take the overall honours from Team Sky's Nico Roche. Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3. Middlesborough to Scarborough. 1 May 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson

This year’s Tour de Yorkshire cycle race injected £1 million into Scarborough’s economy, new figures have revealed.

The figures from Scarborough Council and Welcome to Yorkshire also state that 30,000 people lined the finish of the race when the peloton came along the North Bay on May 1.

It was the second year running the town had hosted the finish to the race, which is broadcast around the world.

The findings from the council include:

l Estimated 30,000 people lined the finish in Scarborough

l Valued to be in the region of 1m to local economy

l 48 per cent of people who attended were visitors from outside of the local area

l 60 per cent of those visitors were staying overnight for at least one night and with average of 2.6 nights

l 98 per cent of those who attended rated the event overall as Excellent or Good.

The figures for Scarborough are an increase on 2015’s figures, helped by the fact the race this year was held on a Sunday, compared to a Friday on the previous occasion.

Across the county the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race injected nearly £60 million into the region’s economy, organiser Welcome to Yorkshire said.

The tourism body said spending on accommodation was up 27 per cent on the previous year’s inaugural race, while expenditure on food, drink, souvenirs and transport was up by 12 per cent.

The race, staged over a rainy spring Bank Holiday holiday weekend, saw more than two million spectators line the route.

A TV audience of 11.4 million in 178 countries saw coverage on Eurosport despite the race plane being forced to abandon the second day of racing due to a mechanical fault.

Around 20 per cent of spectators had travelled from outside Yorkshire to watch the event.

Despite its French origins and the involvement of the Tour de France governing body, 
future races will not be affected by Britain’s exit from Europe, organisers said.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “We don’t get any EU money for it so there’s no consequence from that point of view, and we welcome riders and visitors from Europe and beyond, and that will continue.”

He added: “Whatever your politics in terms of the vote, the one thing that does give you some stability in a somewhat uncertain world right now is that the Tour de Yorkshire will continue.”

According to figures 
released by Welcome to Yorkshire and analysed by Leeds Beckett University, spectators spent nearly £26m million on 
accommodation this year, 
compared with £20 million in 2015.

A further £33 million was spent this year on food, drink, transport and other items – more than £4 million up on the previous year.

Next year, Sheffield, Halifax, Harrogate and Selby will be among the host centres.

In the wake of this year’s event Scarborough Council’s leader, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said he would like to bring 
the race back to the town in 2017.

Sir Gary said organisers were “over-subscribed” with offers to stage starts and finishes and would have to pick towns based on likely cycle routes.

“We have some thoughts and ideas for next year, but our challenge is to enhance the race every year and to come up with interesting turns,” he added.