Following the Government’s confirmation that it will support the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France with a funding pot of nearly £10m, each local authority in the county involved in hosting the event as the race comes through Yorkshire, will be seeking approval for their council’s contribution which is necessary to deliver a successful event.
Harrogate Council is looking to assign £785K from Council funds to meet costs associated with the tour.
Harrogate Borough Council Leader, Cllr Anthony Alton, said:
The Tour de France is the world’s largest annual sporting event. It’s massive and it will bring a great many opportunities to this district. Specialists have been looking at crowd modelling and on day one (5 July) we can expect around 300,000 to watch the race live as it passes through the district and over 170,000 on day two (6 July).
We realise this is a once in a life time opportunity and we want to make sure that businesses, community groups, residents and visitors get the most from it.
This district is unique, in that the race will actually come through our district on two consecutive days. This doesn’t happen anywhere else on the Tour.
When the Grand Départ was hosted in England in 2007, it brought a £73m economic benefit to London and £15m to Kent. Over three million spectators attended the event with more than half of these coming from outside the area and another 10 per cent travelling from overseas. Day visitors spent on average £26 in London and £19 in Kent.
With the basic requirement of up to 10,000 bed nights of accommodation for teams, logistics and media for between seven and 10 days; the increased interest in cycling following the country’s clutch of cycling medals at the 2012 Olympics; and two English winners of the Tour de France since 2007, it is anticipated that Yorkshire will surpass those economic benefits.
Harrogate Borough Council working with North Yorkshire County Council has produced a suite of guidance sheets to cover such issues as setting up temporary campsites; temporary car parks; renting out homes or setting up B&Bs; to mobile catering and becoming a cycling friendly facility. The guidance sheets are available from the home page of the Borough Council’s website at www.harrogate.gov.uk which is the window to the local information on the Tour de France. Both councils, the Police and the Fire Service have established a single point of contact to make it easier for people to get help and guidance.
The council’s Cabinet will be considering the budget report at its meeting on 21 August 2013.