A new report published today by British Cycling shows that, thanks to the UCI Road World Championships, people across Yorkshire have a more positive attitude towards sport and exercise.

The Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University was appointed by UK Sport and its partners (DCMS, Sport England and British Cycling) in 2019 to lead a programme of research designed to capture the social impact of the cycling event.

The report  highlights the impact among those who interacted with the event or were affected by it. The report shows:

  • 57 per cent of those who were surveyed felt more proud of Yorkshire/UK and 52 per felt more positive about where they live
  • 79 per cent of Yorkshire residents reported a sense of excitement for the event while 72 per cent said the event provided more opportunities to meet people from within and outside the region
  • 45 per cent were inspired to take up cycling or cycle more, and 47 per cent were inspired to do more sport and active recreation generally
  • 49 per cent felt the event had brought their local community closer together and 42 per cent  were encouraged to give more to their local community

Councillor Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, said: "This report shows that the UCI Road World Championships has inspired people to get more involved in sport.

"Living an active lifestyle has such a significant impact on health and wellbeing and can help prevent longer-term health issues.

“Brimhams Active, which will be launched later in the summer, shares this vision and we'll be making a transformational shift from a conventional leisure service to becoming a community health and wellbeing company, focussed on helping people to move more and live well across the district.

"It was also positive to read that the volunteering opportunities, the event created, has had a lasting impression on those involved. Volunteering is fantastic way to make a positive contribution to local community life. There are lots of opportunities available across the Harrogate district and I’d encourage anyone with some free time to go it a go."

The report follows an impact study commissioned by the borough council last year. The impact study found 84 per cent of people who came to watch the event were satisfied or very satisfied with it, and it resulted in a £17.8 million-pound boost to the local economy.

Both reports confirm that the global TV audience for the championships exceeded initial estimates, with a cumulative global television audience of 329million.

Councillor Lumley added: "It is inevitable that hosting an international event of this scale can cause some disruption on day-to-day life. But the global television audience has no doubt left a lasting impression on what Yorkshire and specifically the Harrogate district has to offer. This will no doubt encourage a number of visits in the future which our tourist economy so desperately needs."

The UCI Road World Championships were held in the UK after a gap of 37 years and were secured after a successful joint bid by British Cycling, UK Sport, Welcome to Yorkshire and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.