A VOLUNTARY group in York is turning to an innovative new fundraising method to launch its own series of events celebrating the Tour de France.

York Greenway Champions is aiming to crowdfund its plans for the Grand Depart cultural festival, and has ambitious aims to overhaul the 10km solar system model on the banks of the Ouse.

They plan to run a cycling festival called “Tour le Solar System” throughout June, with a grand finale called “On Yer Bike” once the peleton has left York on Sunday, July 6 with guided rides, music, food, poetry and theatre along the solar system route.

The group has turned to specialist website StartSomeGood, set up to help not for profit organisations that will have a social impact, to raise the money they need to see their plans come to fruition.

If they reach the “tipping point” target of £2,820 all the planned events will happen, but the ultimate goal is to raise a total of £10,080. With this cash, the group would be able to use longer lasting materials and make the art work and interpretation boards last much longer.

The funding will also go towards a lasting make over of the University of York’s 10-kilometre scale model of the solar system. Cllr Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “I’m delighted that the Tour de France has inspired such innovation.”