Women's Tour to start in Suffolk for second year bringing £3.5m boost to economy
PUBLISHED: 00:01 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:44 19 February 2019
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Suffolk will host the opening stage of the 2019 OVO Energy Women's Tour for the second year running, bringing in a predicted £3.5 million to the county's economy.
The deal which has seen Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council team up with the event organisers, SweetSpot Group, will also see the race return to the region in 2020.
The tour’s previous four visits to Suffolk are thought to have brought an estimated 250,000 spectators to the roadside and created a net economic impact for the county’s economy in excess of £3.5 million each year.
James Reeder, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for health, said: “We are delighted to welcome the OVO Energy Women’s Tour back to Suffolk for a fifth year, and our fourth time of hosting the Grand Depart.
“We are proud to have secured the race in Suffolk and this is in no small part due to the success of the previous stages hosted in Suffolk and the strength of our relationship with the race organisers, SweetSpot.
“I hope that this year’s race inspires even more people to take up cycling and take part in the wide range of events Suffolk has to offer, such as Women on Wheels, as part of an active and healthy lifestyle.”
Further details of the 2019 Suffolk stage, including the start and finish venues for Stage One, will be announced in early March, ahead of the announcement of the full route for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Almost 70% of spectators surveyed following last year’s opening stage, between Framlingham and Southwold, said that the event inspired them to cycle more often.
In a joint statement, TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s cabinet member for customers, communities and leisure, and Michael Ladd, Waveney District Council’s cabinet member for economic development and tourism, said: “It is incredibly exciting that the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is returning to East Suffolk for both 2019 and 2020 as we know our local communities, businesses and schools enjoy getting involved in this sporting spectacle.
“We are committed to increasing people’s participation in sport and the Women’s Tour will no doubt inspire more people to take up cycling and improve their health and wellbeing.”