Norfolk behind return for Tour of Britain

More than nine out of 10 of people in Norfolk would support the Tour of Britain returning to Norfolk next year – as a report revealed how much of an economic boost it brought to the county.

According to figures released by Norfolk County Council, the stage brought a 20-fold return on the investment made to bring it to the county, and attracted a wider audience than any other in the UK.

It is thought that 130,000 people watched the 117-mile Norfolk stage as it wound its way from King's Lynn to Great Yarmouth.

The council invested �265,000 to secure the event for Norfolk and to host a series of events in the lead-up to it, and an independent report claims that it brought a �5.4m boost in return. It also claims that 94pc of people in the county would support the council if it decided to host another stage next year.

Members of the council's community services overview and scrutiny panel will hear on Tuesday claims that local businesses enjoyed a significant return on the council's outlay.

The report outlines how the Tour benefited the local tourism industry most of all, with 81pc of cash generated by the event coming from visitors travelling from outside of Norfolk.

It also shows that while it was the county council which was instrumental in bringing the event to Norfolk, it could not have been as successful without support from five district councils and a host of other organisations.

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Each of the five district councils involved made cash contributions of �5,000, and a pledge for in-kind support in the same amount.

The report said: 'Norfolk has demonstrated that it has the ability and expertise to deliver major events. This should be a favourable consideration when the county is bidding for other prestigious events, such as in Norfolk's application to host a leg of the Torch Relay in the lead-up to the London 2012 Games.'

The Tour is also said to have brought much-needed publicity with national and international media coverage, including a television broadcast seen by three million people worldwide.

As well as economic benefits from hosting the race, councillors will also hear details of a wide variety of community events which took place to involve residents with the event.

A specially designed pack was sent out to each school in Norfolk to help teachers encourage children to take part and enjoy the event.

Many schools along the route took pupils to see the race as it passed and organised special projects in classes in the lead-up to it.