FANS flocking to The Ashes have brought a £20million boost to Wearside and County Durham.
An excited crowd at the 17,000-capacity Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground on Monday watched England wrap up the series against Australia.
Man of the match Stuart Broad, finished with 11 wickets, as England bowled the Aussies out for 224, making it three-nil in the best-of-five series.
Today, Durham County Council leader Simon Henig, a ward councillor in Chester-le-Street, said:
“It’s estimated that The Ashes coming to County Durham will be worth some £20million to the local economy, but the potential is even greater,” he said.
“We know that people who came to watch the cricket have also visited other attractions, hotels, restaurants, shops and cafes here and are impressed with what they have found.
“There is no doubt that this has proven an extremely valuable part of the county’s Year of Culture.”
Businesses reported a busy weekend, with fans travelling from across the country.
“It has been really, really busy,” said Emma Preston, a supervisor at the town’s Red Lion Pub. We were non-stop on Saturday. It’s been a boost for the whole of the region, not just Chester-le-Street.”
Meanwhile, Zumba, street dancing and a climbing wall are just some of the many fun activities entertaining the crowds as the town celebrates the end of The Ashes. A host of free activities will keep shoppers and visitors entertained in the Market Place from Monday until Friday.
Andrew Megginson, from the District Area Action Partnership, which helped organise the activities, said: “Having The Ashes come to Chester-le-Street has brought a buzz to the town.”