Ice skating boosts city by cool £500k

GBR Elise Cristie  leads in her 1500m semi final but misses out on a place in the final after finishing 3rd
GBR Elise Cristie leads in her 1500m semi final but misses out on a place in the final after finishing 3rd
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AN international ice skating championship brought a cool half-million pound boost to Sheffield’s economy, a new report has revealed.

The World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, which took place at Sheffield Arena in March, generated £482,123 for the city and a further £391,372 for the wider Yorkshire region.

The findings, detailed in a report by Sheffield Hallam University’s sport industry research centre for the Welcome to Yorkshire tourist agency, said competitors, support staff, spectators and the media brought a massive boost for the city.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said for each pound his agency spent marketing the championships, an additional £6.43 was made for the Sheffield economy and £5.22 for the Yorkshire region

“These are great figures and we look forward to welcoming more events of this nature to Sheffield,” he added.

More than 150 competitors from 32 nations took part and the event received more than 14 hours of coverage on the BBC.

Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for business, jobs and growth, said: “It’s fantastic for Sheffield to be hosting elite sporting events like this.

“As well, as the financial boost they bring to the city’s economy, they also provide inspiration to people all over the city to get more active and get involved in sport.”

Ice skating fans will be returning to Sheffield in January next year, when the city hosts the European Figure Skating Championships.

Keith Horton, National Ice Skating Association’s chief executive, said: “When you look at these figures against the scale of the Speed Skating Championships, it is exciting to consider the kind of economic impact the European Championships will have when it comes to Sheffield in January 2012.”