Credit: Chris Dobbs

Worcester benefitted from more than half a million pounds of additional spend thanks to the city hosting the prestigious start of the final stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain last month.

20,000 people lined the city’s streets on Sunday October 10 to see some of the world’s best cyclists set off on the final leg of the epic race, bound for the finish line in Cardiff.

Now research from event organisers SweetSpot shows the event brought a £511,888 economic boost to the city.

Supporters of the race spent their cash in the city’s hotels – with 21% of them staying overnight to catch the race start – as well as Worcester’s cafes, restaurants, shops and visitor attractions.

Race organisers also spent £20,663 to hold the Tour’s final stage start in the city, helping to reach the £511,888 net total.

The research – carried out in line with official HM Treasury guidelines –shows that 30% of visitors on the day came from outside the West Midlands, supporting sponsor Worcester City Council’s drive to attract more tourists to the city.

The Tour also raised Worcester’s national profile, with 985,000 Tweet impressions from @tourofbritain on the day and 1,500 views of a YouTube video of the day’s highlights. More than 800,000 people also tuned into TV coverage of the Worcester race start on ITV4.

The Worcester stage start of the Tour was sponsored by Worcester City Council, the University of Worcester, Gtech and Heart of Worcestershire (HOW) College.

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Chair of the City Council’s Place and Economic Development Sub-committee, said: “The City Council is committed to enhancing Worcester’s reputation as an inspirational sporting city that hosts regular national and international competitions, and the success of the Tour of Britain in our city shows how this strategy is working. We want to inspire people to take up sports, so I’m heartened to see that 54% of people who watched the Tour say they’ll now be cycling more often.”

Cllr Geoff Williams, Vice Chair of the Place and Economic Development Sub-committee, said: “Worcester has so much to offer to visitors, with our rich heritage, fantastic retail and leisure offers, and growing sporting reputation. It’s a real success story for our city with the Tour attracting so many people. They’ll spread the word about what a great place Worcester is, many will make return visits and all this will feed into our growing tourist appeal.”

Mick Bennett, Race Director of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, said: Worcester always provides the OVO Energy Tour of Britain with a very warm welcome and large, enthusiastic crowds. With the 2017 final stage start proving a big success in the city, I’m sure we’ll be back again in future years.”