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Tour de France: Economic benefits from Grand Départ ‘cannot be underestimated’
10:18am Friday 18th January 2013 in Business news
York is hoping for a big legacy from the Tour de France when it hosts the start of Stage Two of the 2014 race.
City leaders welcomed the news that nearly 200 top riders from across the world and representing 22 teams will set off from the city on Sunday, July 6.
Early estimates suggest the two Yorkshire stages could bring an extra £100 million into the region’s economy.
Coun James Alexander, leader of City of York Council, said: “The economic benefit cannot be underestimated. This is something we have worked on - as part of the Yorkshire bid for many months and we will be working to maximise for a lasting impact on our local economy.”
James Brennan, head of marketing at York Racecourse, said: “It’s that number of television eyeballs, billions of people, watching the race in such a wonderful city and such a wonderful county. It’s a marvellous prospect for the city.”
The racecourse hopes to host the Tour Village where sponsors, cyclists, media and fans mingle immediately before the day’s race.
Apart from the riders, the city will host their support crews, expected to total several hundred including mechanics, specialist chefs and bus drivers, more than 1,000 television, radio, internet and print media, a huge sponsors’ caravan which covers the route well in advance of the riders and numerous VIPs.
Susie Cawood, of York and North Yorkshire Chamber, said: “The economic impact of our region hosting the world’s biggest annual sporting event will be huge. It will give businesses in York and North Yorkshire a major economic boost; iconic images of our city and countryside will be broadcast to a worldwide audience. “Tourists will be encouraged to visit the area and it will showcase York and North Yorkshire to potential inward investors.”
Kersten England, City of York Council chief executive, who was yesterday unveiled as the woman in charge of ensuring the visit of the Tour de France will have a lasting legacy in Yorkshire, said: “It’s a privilege to ensure that this important legacy lives on in Yorkshire, builds on this city’s long-standing commitment to cycling and inspires generations to come - maybe even a future Tour winner.”
Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, said: “I am delighted the Tour de France organisers have appreciated the iconic nature and beauty of York.”
Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams, vice-chair of the Tour de France all-party parliamentary committee, said the news would give local people an opportunity to “witness yet another global sporting event”.
Harrogate MP Andrew Jones, whose constituency will host the finsh of Stage One and see part of Stage Two, said: “What Harrogate and Knaresborough has to offer as a backdrop for great sport is just fantastic in terms of business facilities, accommodation, historic sites and beautiful scenery as well as many passionate sporting fans. “The ingredients are already here to warmly welcome the Tour with open arms.”