Mildenhall: Rally brings £250k boost to west Suffolk

The Mildenhall Cycling Rally in full flow.

The Mildenhall Cycling Rally in full flow.

A CYCLING event brings a quarter of a million pound boost to the west Suffolk economy, new figures have revealed.

Victoria Pendleton at the Mildenhall Cycling Rally in 1999

Victoria Pendleton at the Mildenhall Cycling Rally in 1999 - Credit: Archant

Research carried out by Forest Heath District Council and Mildenhall Cycling Club shows that visitors to the August Bank Holiday weekend cycling rally spent up to £2,100 each.

Restaurants, hotels. pubs and B&Bs have all benefitted from the annual event with council bosses claiming that the economy could be further bolstered by return visitors who enjoyed their stay.

Mark Burchett, Chairman of Mildenhall Cycling Club, said: “Although we recognised that the Rally could only be of benefit to Mildenhall and the surrounding areas, we did not realise the true extent of the economic impact that the Rally was having on the local community. We are extremely delighted though, that the whole community including local businesses are benefiting from the Rally, many of whom already do work with us to increase the mutual benefits.”

Mr Burchett said that organisers of the Mildenhall Cycling Rally - which has featured Olympic champions and former club members Victoria Pendleton CBE and Nicole Cooke OBE - had been working with local restaurants and hotels to cater for the 5,000 who attend the annual event.

He added: “Local accommodation is also very sought after with all available B&B’s, guesthouses and hotels and as well as campsites full with people staying at the Rally. This is in addition to the 375 camping and caravan pitches that are filled every year at the event itself. Indeed, there are some establishments that no longer need to advertise vacancies for the Bank-Holiday weekend, with those staying booking the same accommodation for the following year. What the survey also confirmed was that quite a number return to the area at other times, so the resulting impact of the rally is felt throughout the year.”

According to a face-to-face survey of visitors carried out by Forest Heath officers at the 2012 rally, the average total spend was £104.75, whilst the average spend per person was £48.91. The actual amount spent per respondent ranged from zero up to £2,100 with the overall spend being estimated at £244,550.

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Councillor James Waters, Leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “These events are a very welcome boost to the local economy – not only through the income they generate at the time but also because people may choose to make return visits at other times of the year. The event attracts visitors from across the country who in turn may spread the word about what a great place Mildenhall is.” For information on 2013 rally see

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