Skating contest’s £1.5m boost to city economy

France's Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat win the Ice Dance Free Dance during the European Figure Skating Championships at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
France's Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat win the Ice Dance Free Dance during the European Figure Skating Championships at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
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THE European Figure Skating Championships boosted Sheffield’s economy by an estimated £1.5 million, as competitors and spectators from across the continent descended on the city.

Around 200 skaters took part in the week-long event at Sheffield Arena, which finished yesterday, wowing crowds in ladies, men’s, pairs and dance disciplines.

Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for business, jobs and growth, said the extra money was ‘great news’ for the city.

“With the event bringing so many spectators to the city, it will give a huge boost to the local economy,” she added.

Steve Brailey, chief executive of Sheffield International Venues, said the city was chosen to host the event because of its top ice skating facilities at the arena and iceSheffield - within walking distance of each other in Attercliffe.

“Very few UK or European cities can boast two superb ice venues in such close proximity, which highlights the importance of investment in facilities such as iceSheffield and the arena,” he said.

Skating team members have been staying in city hotels including the Jurys Inn, Mercure St Paul’s and the Hilton.

They were also expected to spend money in city shops, bars and restaurants, as well as seeing the sights of Sheffield.

But Simon Bailey, manager of the arena, said: “It’s not just that people will have been coming in and spending money in the city, it’s the impression people will have of the city.

“They’ll be going back to their various countries and telling people about Sheffield. It’s fantastic for the city and for the region.”

n See Star Sport, page 26, for a Russian skating superstar’s golden moment.