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Olympics and Tour of Britain "gold rush" in Surrey totted up
The Olympic Games and Tour of Britain sporting events generated more than £51 million for Surrey’s economy.
Surrey County Council announced the massive local cash spin-off from the bonanza of Olympic cycling action this week.
The council said the “gold rush” came mainly from the London 2012 cycling road race and time trial events, which together drew one million spectators into the county.
Each overnight visitor is estimated to have spent an average of £75 in Surrey, with day visitors spending around £38 each.
Worldwide television syndication of the Olympic events showcased Surrey to tens of millions of people across the world, with peak BBC viewing figures in the UK alone reaching 5.7 million for the road race, and 6.2 million for the time trial.
The council said that in total, the Olympic Games benefited the county’s economy to the tune of almost £44 million, including money generated by the torch relay and athletes’ training camps.
Following the summer of Olympic sport, Surrey hosted the eighth and final stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race in September, which saw British cycling hero Mark Cavendish cross the Guildford finishing line first.
The Tour of Britain generated almost £7.2 million for Surrey’s economy and was watched by 225,000 roadside spectators. More than 1.1 million viewers saw the live television and highlights coverage.
Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for community services, said: “The decision to invest in the Olympics and the Tour of Britain has paid off to the tune of £51 million. “We were criticised three years ago when we appointed an Olympics co-ordinator, but we persevered because we knew the Games had the potential for huge economic and cultural benefits in Surrey.”
She said: “The figures speak for themselves, with millions of pounds generated for the economy and pictures of Surrey beamed to television sets throughout the world, providing a boost for tourism. “That success was furthered by the Tour of Britain and we look forward to hosting it again next year.”
Coun Clack added: “Surrey’s business community should be congratulated for seizing the opportunities generated by these sporting events with both hands. “The county council provided a lot of support in what was a great example of the private and public sectors working together for the benefit of Surrey.”
The council broke down some of the figures to show that the economic benefit to Surrey from the Olympic and Paralympic Games was £43,856,000.
The economic benefit to Surrey from the Tour of Britain was £7,169,375.
The peak BBC television viewing figure for the Olympic time trial in Surrey, which was won by Bradley Wiggins, was 6.2 million, while one million spectators turned out to watch the Olympic road races and time trials in Surrey. Some 225,000 spectators turned out to watch the Tour of Britain in Surrey, while 1,151,000 viewers tuned into the Tour of Britain live and highlights television coverage.