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Tour de France Grand Depart brought big numbers and huge revenue to UK economy

Tour de France in Yorkshire
Image: The Tour de France brought huge crowds to Yorkshire

The Tour de France's visit to the United Kingdom this summer was watched by crowds totalling 4.8 million people and generated revenues of around £128m, a report has found.

The Three Inspirational Days report examined the economic and social impact of the hosting of the opening two stages of the Tour in Yorkshire and stage three between Cambridge and London.

The Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour attracted massive crowds on the weekend of July 5 and 6 in Yorkshire as the riders went first from Leeds to Harrogate, through the Yorkshire Dales, and then from York to Sheffield.

The report claimed survey information showed that a total crowd of 4.8m watched the race at the roadside - 3.3m in Yorkshire and 1.5m for the stage around Cambridgeshire, Essex and London.

Taking into account people who watched more than one stage, the report said 3.5m individual or "unique" spectators turned out to watch.

For the Yorkshire stages, 57% of those who watched were from the county, with 40 per cent from the rest of the UK and 3% from abroad.

It said a quarter of everyone living in the Yorkshire and the Humber region came out to watch and the Tour attracted 113,000 visitors from outside the UK, generating £33m for the UK economy.

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The report said the Grand Depart generated more than £128m of economic benefit for the host areas overall, with the overall economic benefit figure expected to top £150m due to the effect of increased tourism and long term trade deals.

Minister for Sport and Tourism Helen Grant said: "The Tour de France in the UK was an incredible success and once again showcased how well we put on major sporting events in this country."

Chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire, Gary Verity, who led the county's bid to secure the event, said: "We're absolutely delighted the event brought so much money to the county to help businesses big and small.

"There are also benefits for the county which are impossible to measure - the profile of Yorkshire around the world has never been higher and this will have a lasting impact on visitor numbers and businesses for years and years to come."

President of British Cycling Bob Howden added: "The three UK stages set a new standard not just in terms of the amazing support but also because it inspired so many people, young and old, to get on their bikes."

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