North Yorkshire is being asked to commit to the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race until 2020, further cementing the region’s growing reputation as the premier location for international events.
The County Council’s Executive will hear of the very considerable benefits the race brings to North Yorkshire before making its decision on future funding on Tuesday (4 December).
Hosting the race provides crucial national and international exposure for North Yorkshire and the wider region, with TV coverage in 190 countries. An independent study estimated that this year’s race boosted the Yorkshire economy by £98m. A record 2.6 million spectators lined the route over the four days of racing and overall spending was up 54 per cent. It’s seen as an opportunity to showcase the county as a spectacular destination for businesses and visitors and a stunning location to work, live and study.
The County Council, with its partners, plays an important role in funding, planning and delivering the event, working with organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sports Organisation. The County Council’s role includes managing the roads, including rolling closures, emergency planning and liaising with the community and businesses.
North Yorkshire has hosted more of the race than any other authority area, with half of 2018’s route in the county, including a start in Richmond and a finish in Scarborough. In its four years, the race has visited every district of the county.
The Executive will be recommended to authorise funding of £190,000 to support next year’s event and a further £190,000 for 2020’s event. This would cover the hosting fee and event costs.
County Council leader Councillor Carl Les said: “We know that bringing international cycling events to North Yorkshire boosts our visitor economy and our businesses, bringing benefits that last long beyond the four days of racing. Our support for such events since the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 has been instrumental in bringing the UCI World Cycling Championships – the World Cup of cycle racing – to the county next September.
“The Tour de Yorkshire also generates a great sense of pride. People across the county decorate their towns and villages with painted bikes, flags, bunting and amazing land art. They hold celebrations and line the streets in their thousands to support the race. Many communities love to make an event of the event.
“We recognise that there is a degree of congestion and delay on the route and some disruption to services, but we and our partners strive to keep this to a minimum so that there is as little inconvenience as possible to people who need or want to carry on with their normal routine.
“We have five years’ experience of managing roads and traffic during world class cycling events, so are well-placed to ensure the safety of spectators and minimise disruption.”
Next year’s Tour de Yorkshire is scheduled to take place from Thursday, 2 May, to Sunday, 5 May. Bedale, Selby and Scarborough have been announced as either a start or finish location. Full details of the route will be announced on 7 December.