Tour of Britain worth �2m to East Anglian economy

The East Anglian economy received a �2m cash injection from the fleeting visit of dozens of professional cyclists this year, according to a new report.

More than 150,000 people lined the streets of Norfolk and Suffolk for the penultimate leg of the Tour of Britain in September.

And the two county councils revealed they were looking to join forces again in 2012 to get the country's biggest road race to make a return visit to the region.

The councils are again talking to Suffolk brewer Adnams about sponsorship for the race stage, but they are also looking for other businesses to get in touch if they are interested in being associated with the event.

James Carswell, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for cultural services, said: 'The large crowd numbers that we saw for this year's Tour of Britain race in Norfolk show just how successful an event it continues to be.'

'In the months before the Tour, and still now, we have seen related projects bringing real legacy benefits to our county. Whether educational benefits in schools, the creation of new cycling clubs, or a project to improve the health of residents in our care homes - the race brings lasting benefits to different sections of society.'

Seventy-five percent of those surveyed after the 2011 race were inspired to cycle more frequently as a result of watching the event and more than 600,000 watched the highlights programme on ITV4, according to figures from the organisers SweetSpot.

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Kathy Gosling, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for sport said: 'I am delighted that we had such an amazing turn out to support the Tour of Britain this year.'

'Cycling is certainly taking off in Suffolk and its brilliant that the Tour has inspired even greater interest in the fantastic range of cycle routes and the growing number of clubs. The boost that it has to local businesses that line the route has been fantastic.'

'It was an absolutely wonderful day and it was great to feel part of such an incredible international event. I very much look forward to joining forces with Norfolk County Council to try to bring the Tour back to our two counties in 2012.'

The ninth edition of the Tour of Britain, will run from September 9 to 16, less than a month after the London Olympics, and councillors and tourism groups are lobbying for another leg in 2012.

The 200km Norfolk and Suffolk stage this year began in Bury St Edmunds, passed through Diss, Wymondham and Reepham and ended at the Sandringham Estate.

Companies interested in sponsoring a 2012 leg can contact Fiona Roberts, Tour of Britain project manager on 01603 222096, or email or Colin Grogan, sport health and inclusion development manager at Suffolk County Council on or 01473 264331.

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