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Tour de France Stage 2 finish in Sheffield
Tour de France Stage 2 finish in Sheffield

Sheffield hits the jackpot as city benefits from Tour

Thursday 4 December 2014

Sheffield exceeded all expectations from hosting the world’s largest annual sporting event last July.

An economic impact survey into this year’s Tour de France released today has shown that the direct economic benefits to Yorkshire estimated at around £102.3 million. This was the money spent on accommodation, food and drink, and transport.

Before the event, the estimated income for Sheffield hosting the Grand Depart was expected to be between £5-10 million, but it is believed that even this upper figure will be exceeded. A separate survey due out soon will give local figures for Sheffield’s income from the event.

There were massive additional benefits from the event, which showcased the city to people in 180 countries worldwide. A record 4 million viewers watched the Stage 2 finish into Sheffield live on ITV1.

Welcome to Yorkshire and TdFHUB2014 Ltd commissioned the survey that showed the direct economic income to the region from hosting the Grand Depart on 5-6 July.  It also estimated that 3.6 million people lined the routes of the three stages in the UK – Leeds-Harrogate, York-Sheffield and Cambridge-London.

The survey estimated that one and a half million spectators watched the York to Sheffield second stage of the race and over 300,000 people lined the 22 mile route through Sheffield.

Around 40 per cent of the spectators were visitors from outside the region and, of those, three quarters said they would recommend the area to friends and family as a place to visit.

Sheffield delivered its part of ‘Le Tour’ at a cost of £2.8 million, so the return is likely to be at least two and possibly more than four times the investment. The cost was £0.8 million up on the original estimate because of the higher than anticipated costs to change street furniture to make the course safe for the riders – such as removing metal road signs, road humps and barriers – an increase in cost of centrally procured items such as barriers, stewards and radios, and other staging costs.

The additional cost has been met by the Council and managed within the usual annual budget variations over the three years from 2012/13 to 2014/15. No services were cut or reduced.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure commented: “The second stage of the Grand Depart of this year’s Tour de France was an amazing event. As the race organisers have said, it really was the grandest of Grand Departs. The 100 day cultural festival which preceded it was also an overwhelming success. The Tour brought significant economic benefits to the city and confirmed Sheffield’s position as a centre for major events and outdoor activities.

“It was essential that we met the safety standards required by the organisers and also that we gave everyone who wanted to watch a great day out. The success of the event was vitally important to the overall reputation of the city.

“We have already started building on the legacy left by the Tour – not just to encourage cycling in the city, but also profiling Sheffield as the leading city for outdoor activities in the UK. We know that a number of events and conferences are coming to the city as a direct result of our enhanced profile and this will continue the economic benefits from being involved.”

The legacy from the Tour will continue well into the future. Half the spectators said they felt inspired to cycle more frequently and 28 per cent have increased their levels of cycling since July.

The spin-off effect of the Tour will spill over into other outdoor activities and 63 per cent of spectators felt inspired to cycle or do other sports. Sheffield will host the European Outdoor Industries Association Summit in 2015.

The Yorkshire Festival that ran from March to July generated a further £10 million to the region’s economy and provided a wide variety of cultural events in the lead up to the Grand Depart.

Leader of Sheffield City Council, Julie Dore said: “The Tour de France showed off Sheffield in particular – at its very best. It was a fantastic opportunity to welcome one of the world’s great international events to the city and will be remembered for many years to come.


Notes for editors:

Several projects are already in hand to build on this enthusiasm and the massive boom in cycling in recent years to improve the quality of life in Sheffield and people’s general health.

The City Council is aiming to build on their investment in hosting this year’s prestigious event by using it as a platform to encourage more people to take to their bikes. The legacy plans will build on existing work with key partners such British Cycling, Cycle Yorkshire and Sheffield Cycle Boost.

There are significant economic, health and environmental benefits that an increase in cycling would bring to Sheffield. A number of innovative schemes are planned to improve the local infrastructure and make more use of the city’s green cycle routes. This would link into the existing cycle network, mainly along the main radial routes and also into the 20 mph zones.

By March 15 we will have completed at least 11kilometres of new infrastructure this year – a mix of on-road and off-road cycle lanes, will have been built in the Upper Don Valley creating a complete route from the city centre to Oughtibridge, Blackburn valley extending from Ecclesfield to Chapeltown, and new cycle lanes on Abbeydale Road and Chesterfield Road

Among the initiatives already in place are the Cycle Boost scheme that allows more people to try cycling to work and free cycle training to increase confidence and safety on a bike. At the moment around two percent of people cycle to work and the aim is to double this by 2024. The intention is to increase the number of bike trips in the city by around 10 percent by 2025 and to increase this to 25 percent by 2050.

Cycling will be made easier and safer and the local cycling provision will also be reviewed and improved, including cycle parking in key locations and ‘Bike Doctor’ sessions to help cyclists maintain their bikes.

Both Yorkshire stages of Tour de France route are now signed with special brown signs to help cycling enthusiasts try all or part of the route themselves and to celebrate the Tour visiting the region. Sheffield’s four King of the Mountain Climbs (Côte de Midhopestones, Côte de Bradfield, Côte d’Oughtibridge and the Côte de Wincobank) have also been sign posted to highlight the challenges this section of the route pose.

Facilities for bike hire will be launched by the University of Sheffield in the New Year and extended into the city centre in the summer.

Funding has been secured to provide more bike hubs following the recent opening of the first at Sheffield Station. These provide secure storage, changing facilities, maintenance and repair, and bike hire. One of these would be located alongside the Olympic legacy National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine at the new Graves site.

A series of cycling events are being held and are in the pipeline for 2015 including festivals, challenges, organised rides and sportives. These will sustain and increase the profile of cycling in the city.

British Cycling have led about 50 rides across the county every Sunday this autumn. More details can be found at www.goskyride/sheffield.com

There was an impressive 80 per cent increase in the number of Sheffield residents cycling to work between 2001 and 2011 and cycling doubled in the city in the same period.

For further information please contact Warwick Toone, Media Relations Officer on 07764 659182 or 0114 205 3546. E-mail: warwick.toone@sheffield.gov.uk. For out of office hours media enquiries ring 07711 153995.