Worcestershire County Council has confirmed that it will support a return of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series bicycle race in June 2015 which takes place in Redditch.
The event, which was previously paid for by sustainable travel programme Choose how you move in Redditch, will now be funded by the county council and sponsored by the Kingfisher Shopping Centre. The exact date for the comeback will be announced early next year.
Redditch has an impressive track record having played host to the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for three consecutive years. Economic impact figures from 2014 reveal that 12,500 spectators attended the race and over £140,000 was brought into the Worcestershire economy as a result. The competition which is also televised on ITV4 had the highest viewing figures of all the national rounds this year.
Cllr. John Smith, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways, said: "The Tour Series events and the work of Choose how you move have inspired people in Redditch to adopt sustainable travel behaviours and improve their fitness through cycling. By making this investment, we're giving a clear signal that we recognise the benefits because they match our strategic priorities to protect the environment, promote health and wellbeing, and champion being open for business."
Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is great news for Redditch. I am pleased that the County Council is once again supporting the Tour Series bicycle race as sporting events such as this, and the Friends Life Tour of Britain which we welcomed to Worcestershire in the summer, have such a significant positive economic impact locally. We look forward to the Tour Series in 2015 and hope to welcome other such events across Worcestershire.”
Of those surveyed for this year's economic impact assessment, other results show that 72% of spectators came from outside Redditch, and 51% said they were inspired to cycle more often.