Cumbria County Council has confirmed that the Tour of Britain – one of the country’s top sporting events – will be returning to Cumbria in September 2020.
It will be the tenth time – and the third successive year – that Cumbria has hosted Britain’s premier road cycling race featuring the world’s leading professional riders. Cumbria has become a regular feature of the Tour of Britain in recent years, with race organisers Sweetspot consistently attracted by the county’s beautiful scenery, challenging climbs and passionate support.
Cumbria County Council has built up a strong working relationship with the Tour of Britain because the council recognises the economic and public health benefits of bringing the race to the county.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “We are thrilled to announce the Tour of Britain will be returning to Cumbria in 2020. We know that hosting the race helps to inspire more people to take up cycling and is a great opportunity to showcase Cumbria’s magnificent landscape to a worldwide audience. We’re looking forward to another memorable day of top class racing later this year.”
Cllr David Southward, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “The Tour of Britain is one of the country’s biggest sporting events attracting many thousands of spectators and is watched by a TV audience of millions worldwide. The county council is delighted that some of the world’s top professional cyclists will be racing through Cumbria once again in 2020. Bringing the Tour to Cumbria provides a real boost to the county’s economy, with an estimated benefit of more than £1.5m realised for Cumbria in 2019.”
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Public Health, said: “We know from our experience in previous years that bringing the Tour of Britain to Cumbria is a wonderful way to inspire more people to get out on their bikes, whether it’s for competitive racing, getting to work or school, or simply for pleasure. Cycling regularly has a number of health benefits – it can help boost your mood, keep you fit and help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease.”
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director, said: “Fans of the Tour of Britain know that any stage in Cumbria will deliver great action in a beautiful location, and that draws people from across the country to spectate. This September will be our tenth visit to Cumbria, making it jointly the most visited county by the modern Tour of Britain. We look forward to announcing more details of this year’s stage with Cumbria County Council in the Spring.”
Cumbria gained an economic boost of more than £1.5m from jointly hosting one of last year’s Tour of Britain race stages in September 2019.
Cumbria County Council was the main sponsor and joint host of Stage 4 of last year’s race, which started in Gateshead and culminated with an exciting finish in Kendal.
Cumbria secured an economic benefit of £1,550,554 from hosting the 2019 race, which passed through several western Yorkshire Dales communities in Cumbria for the first time, including Brough, Kirkby Stephen, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale.
There was an economic boost of £556,193 for Kendal, which hosted the finish with a challenging climb up Beast Banks.
Cumbria enjoyed large crowds for the race, attracting 100,000 spectators to the county, including 35,000 spectators for the finish in Kendal. In addition, nearly half a million viewers watched television coverage on ITV4.
Accommodation providers, retailers and transport operators were among many Cumbrian businesses to reap the benefits of the race, according to independently compiled analysis of the economic benefits of The Tour.
Other key findings in the analysis:
- 53% of all visitors came from outside the local area.
- Average spend by overnight visitors was £130.33 per group
- 90% described the race as “very enjoyable”
- 48% said they were inspired to cycle more often
More details of the Tour of Britain’s visit to Cumbria this September will be announced in the Spring.
The 2020 Tour of Britain will run from 6-13 September 2020, starting in Cornwall and finishing in Aberdeen.