Corporate, General, Olympics

Surrey’s £51 million sporting gold rush

Bradley Wiggins leads TeamGB at the Olympics. Click image to download            

The Olympic Games and Tour of Britain sporting events generated more than £51 million for Surrey’s economy.

The gold rush came predominantly from the London 2012 cycling road race and time trial events, which attracted one million spectators in Surrey between them. Each overnight visitor is estimated to have spent an average of £75 in the county, with day visitors spending around £38 each.

Worldwide television syndication of the Olympic events showcased Surrey to tens of millions of people across the world, with peak BBC viewing figures in the UK alone reaching 5.7 million for the road race and 6.2 million for the time trial.

In total, the Olympic Games benefited the county’s economy to the tune of almost £44 million, including money generated by the torch relay and athletes’ training camps.

Following a summer of Olympic sport, Surrey hosted the eighth and final stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race in September, which saw British star Mark Cavendish cross the Guildford finishing line first.

The Tour of Britain generated almost £7.2 million for Surrey’s economy and was watched by 225,000 roadside spectators. More than 1.1 million viewers saw the live television and highlights coverage.  

Helyn Clack with Mark Cavendish at the Tour of Britain

Helyn Clack with Mark Cavendish at the Tour of Britain. Click image to download

Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The decision to invest in the Olympics and the Tour of Britain has paid off to the tune of £51 million. We were criticised three years ago when we appointed an Olympics co-ordinator, but we persevered because we knew the Games had the potential for huge economic and cultural benefits in Surrey.

“The figures speak for themselves, with millions of pounds generated for the economy and pictures of Surrey beamed to television sets throughout the world, providing a boost for tourism. That success was furthered by the Tour of Britain and we look forward to hosting it again next year.

“Surrey’s business community should be congratulated for seizing the opportunities generated by these sporting events with both hands. The county council provided a lot of support in what was a great example of the private and public sectors working together for the benefit of Surrey.”

In numbers:

  • £43,856,000 – the economic benefit to Surrey from the Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • £7,169,375 – the economic benefit to Surrey from the Tour of Britain
  • 6.2 million – the peak BBC television viewing figure for the Olympic time trial in Surrey, which was won by Bradley Wiggins
  • One million – the number of spectators who turned out to watch the Olympic road races and time trials in Surrey
  • 225,000 – the number of spectators who turned out to watch the Tour of Britain in Surrey
  • 1,151,000 – the number of viewers who tuned into the Tour of Britain live and highlights television coverage.


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