County cashes in on top women’s cycling event

Riders charge for the finishing line in Bridge Street at the end of stage six of the Aviva Women's Tour in June last year. Photo: Lucy Ford A54/6/16/4

THE Aviva Women’s Cycling Tour provided a healthy boost to the local economy when stage two of last year’s five-stage race passed through Stratford and other parts of the county.

Stratford hosted the finishing line as the top female cyclists who rode the length of the county in June, with 75,000 spectators gathered along the route from Atherstone, via the University of Warwick, Kenilworth, Warwick town centre and Shipston, before finishing in Stratford.

And an evaluation by Warwickshire County Council published this week has shown it provided a massive boost to Warwickshire’s tourism and catering industries with 40,000 of the spectators coming from outside of the county and an estimated one in seven staying overnight.

According to the council the food and drink industry cashed in to the tune of £2million of spending, while other sectors also benefitted, including local shops and those offering souvenirs (£740,000), hotels and other accommodation (£540,000), and local transport (£150,000).

The council paid £130,000 to host the stage, which will return this year.

County council leader and portfolio holder for economic development, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said: “It has been excellent for local businesses and offered a chance to showcase our county at its best. The huge numbers of visitors meant that many were able to take a share of the spoils that an event such as this provides.

“Of course, there are more than just economic benefits and I hope our residents have been inspired to get out and enjoy this fantastic sport.”