Tour a big boost for Yorkshire

Tour de France peloton

7:35am 4th December 2014
(Updated 3:58pm 5th December 2014)

It's been revealed that 2.3 million people in Yorkshire turned out to watch the opening stages of this year's Tour de France.

A report into the economic and social impact of the Grand Départ has also found that £102 million was generated for the region.

The event earned worldwide admiration for its success, with Tour director Christian Prudhomme describing it as "the grandest Grand Départ" in the 111-year history of the race.

There have been many success stories involving businesses across North Yorkshire.

On the Tour's opening day, a year's supply of ice cream was sold in West Tanfield.

Kettlewell Village Store expected a loss of trade and logistical problems because of road closures, but staff were run off their feet.

Owner Doug McLellan said: "By the time we normally would have opened at 8.15am, we had just about sold all our supply.

"We closed the shop for the duration of the race, and after the race had passed, it was back to the shop for a very busy afternoon.

"There were six people working instead of the usual two, yet we had a queue all afternoon. Sunday morning was just as busy, as all those who were camping locally came for their breakfast sandwiches."

Flagmakers Flying Colours provided bunting for Knaresborough, which was named as Yorkshire's 'best dressed' town.

Managing Director Andy Ormrod said: "The Tour outweighed any expectation we had - we were very, very busy. Profits and turnover were up. We saw more orders and busier website traffic than we did for even the Queen's Jubilee.

"We are only now catching up with our day-to-day business, and we will now also be taking on an apprentice."

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: "We're absolutely delighted the event brought so much money to the county to help businesses big and small, and there are 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."

The official website received two million visits during the week of the Tour starting, with over eight million page views.

In addition, the Yorkshire Festival 2014 saw more than 800,000 people attend over 2,000 performances of arts and culture in the 100 days leading up to the Grand Départ.

Helen Grant, Minister for Sport and Tourism, 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.

"It was fantastic to see such huge crowds supporting the race in Yorkshire, Cambridge, Essex and London.

"It showed the passion Britain has for cycling and will have inspired many to take up the sport, as well as giving a significant economic boost to the host regions."

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