90m golf boost for Fylde Coast

Following an exciting weekend at The Open golf championships, estimates suggest that the competition brought an economic benefit to the county of around £90m.

Economic development bosses at Lancashire County Council estimate that the event will significantly benefit the visitor economy in the Fylde Coast and provide a significant marketing boost to Lancashire.

The Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club hosted the event for the 11th time, which was won by South African Ernie Els.

According to the event organisers, more than 180,000 local, national and international visitors came to the course - an increase on last year's event held at Royal St George's in Sandwich.

The championship was broadcast to more than half a billion people in 150 countries.

County councillor Geoff Driver, leader of the county council, said: “We're delighted that the R&A chose to bring this tournament back to Lancashire. The Open was very successful and showed the best possible image of Lancashire on a global stage.

“When you look at the overall picture, it's clear that this competition and its international profile will bring a significant long-term boost to the Fylde Coast and Lancashire as a whole.”

The championship organisers, the R&A, allowed spectators to 'pass out' from the course during the competition and return to the course later in the day. This was a welcome change from last year's championship in Kent, with spectators leaving the course and spending money in local restaurants and shops.

The county council and Fylde Borough Council also worked with local and national artists to produce a programme of art, music, theatre and performance to entertain local residents and visitors.

A full economic impact study, jointly commissioned by the R&A and the county council, will be released in the autumn.