Tour of Britain predicted to boost East Devon's economy

THE Tour of Britain could provide a welcome windfall to the local economy of Devon and Somerset next month.

THE Tour of Britain could provide a welcome windfall to the local economy of Devon and Somerset next month.

Devon and Somerset County Councils are working in partnership to host two stages of the Tour in the South West on the 17 and 18 September. The hope is that people will make the most of two days and be tempted to enjoy an extended stay in the region.

Last year's Tour of Britain was the most successful ever watched by a record number of spectators. An estimated 107,000 people lined the route of the stage in Devon and Somerset, up 45 per cent on the 2007 figure. With two stages in the south west, that figure has potential to increase again this year.

A study of the economic impact of last year's Tour also found that the South West stage generated �1.859million

Councillor William Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Strategic Planning, said: "Hosting the Tour raises the profile of Devon, both as a holiday destination for all visitors as well as for cycling tourism. The national TV coverage provides exposure for people to see what our beautiful county has to offer as a place to live, work, visit, or invest."

Councillor David Huxtable, Somerset County Council's Cabinet Member for Resources, said: "The Tour of Britain presents an excellent opportunity for local businesses to take advantage of advertising their products and services to a wide audience, from handing out leaflets to special offers for the day. It's a great free family event and we expect to attract even more spectators after the success of last year's race."

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The south west stages will take in 346km of Devon and Somerset. Stage Six starts in Frome and will take the riders across Exmoor as they cross into Devon, and head to the finish at Bideford. The following day is the penultimate day of the race, with Stage Seven setting out from Hatherleigh before passing through Devon's rolling countryside and many of its market and coastal towns before heading back into Somerset, where it finishes in Yeovil.

Anyone inspired by the action from the first day in the South West, can cycle from the finish in Bideford to the start at Hatherleigh the following day, by travelling along The Tarka Trail.

For more information about the South West stages of the Tour of Britain visit: