A MAJOR cycle race in Barrow gave the town a massive economic lift, new statistics show.

An economic impact study into the event back in May has found local retailers, restaurants, pubs and taxi firms all benefited.

Of the £495,654 gross expenditure, visitors spent:

  • £110,042 on food and drink
  • £26,130 on accommodation
  • £67,140 on shopping
  • £44,610 on entertainment


The total economic benefit was £100,393, with a slightly larger net economic boost to Cumbria of £116,770.

Over 12,000 people attended the event three months ago and highlights were watched on ITV4 by 330,000 viewers - the third highest for the series.

Officially called the ‘Pearl Izumi Tour Series BAE Systems Barrow,’ the event also helped create a lasting legacy for cycling in the area, said the report authors.

Of the Barrow spectators, 13 per cent came from outside Cumbria, 85 per cent of which stayed overnight.

The average spend of overnight spend of visitors was £143.29 per group and the average spend per group of those visitors there only for the day was £88.09 with an average group size of three people.

Two-thirds (66%) of spectators came with their families and 95 per cent of visitors described the event as “very enjoyable”, with an average rating of 4.8 on a scale of 1-5.

According to the survey, 67% of people said the race - which saw Barrow’s town centre transformed into a 1.1km cycling circuit - had inspired them to cycle more often.

The event organisers SweetSpot also praised the organisation of Cumbria County Council and Barrow Borough Council, the community feel to the event and the support of BAE Systems.

The Barrow event - one of 10 locations on the tour series - was the third most watched race on ITV4 just behind the legs in Canary Wharf and Stoke-on-Trent.

Coun David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member responsible for economic development, said: “It’s great news that a net six-figure sum has been generated in the local economy thanks to the Tour Series coming to Barrow. We have forged a close working relationship with the organisers of the Tour of Britain and Tour Series and recognise the economic boost that events like this bring to the area. We are already working with them on options for future years.”

Jackie Arnold, of BAE Systems Submarines said: “We support a range of community initiatives through our corporate responsibility strategy to help strengthen the local economy, so the race generating such a boost for Barrow is very welcome news.”

And Barrow Mayor Coun Marie Derbyshire said: “I’m particularly pleased to see that Barrow did so well in terms of television viewing figures as it really was a great opportunity to showcase the town to a wider audience.”

The figures calculate the money that would have been spent in Barrow anyway if the event had not happened, money that would have been spent in other local businesses if the event had not taken place and the ‘leakage’ of money spent outside the area (eg petrol or a packed lunch bought at the start of the journey outside Cumbria) to calculate the net economic benefit of £100,393 for Barrow and £116,770 for Cumbria.