UCI organising team decline to answer questions over cycling event

10 October 2019

The fiasco following the UCI cycling event in Harrogate is continuing as the UCI organising  group, Yorkshire 2019 Ltd and Welcome to Yorkshire have refused to answer questions over the event.

Welcome to Yorkshire have issued a statement, but not attributed it to any individual.

Both the Welcome to Yorkshire Communications Director and Yorkshire 2019 are now on leave, leaving more junior staff to deal with media enquiries.

A Yorkshire 2019 spokesperson said:

We’re sorry if some businesses have reported a reduction in trade during the UCI Road World Championships, but we’re not in the position to offer compensation.

We liaised extensively with businesses in the three years leading up to the Championships to ensure they had the opportunity to mitigate against any impact on trade, and equally capitalise on the opportunity.

We’re delighted that many businesses were able to do that, and experience the positive benefits that the Championships brought about.

An independent economic impact study is currently being conducted and the results will be shared in due course. We’re hugely proud of the exposure we generated for the Harrogate borough, and Yorkshire as a whole, and the benefits of hosting the event will be felt for many years to come.

These are the questions they have refused to answer:

  1. Many local businesses are reporting that their trade was significantly down and some saying that they had no customers on some days. What does Yorkshire 2019 say to them and are there plans for financial compensation ?
  2. Harrogate Borough Council have said that they will pay for the repairs of the Stray. Why is Yorkshire2019 not paying for the repairs
  3. Do you believe that the footfall to Harrogate was as expected ?
  4. The UCI has a reputation as leaving financial turmoil and debt to host parties. Is Yorkshire 2019 looking like it will cover costs or make a profit ?
  5. Would Yorkshire 2019 meet with local business at a public meeting to discuss their concerns ?
  6. How do you believe that Harrogate has been left following the event ?
  7. Can you confirm the remit of Ernst and Young report for the independent review and do you know how many local businesses will be involved ?


  1. We had three years warning, it was not a fiasco ! I work for a small independent, we made a loss but we chose to look at the bigger picture of future tourism.
    The weather caused much of the damage as it did to The Yorkshire showground during the Yorkshire show a few years ago. Stop promoting such divisive negativity on an event which was watched by 250 million.

    • Unfortunately scientific research shows it’s a common human failing to be over optimistic. There will be no long term benefit. If you were an overseas visitor why would you come to Harrogate, nice enough though it is to live in? You would choose London first and, if you came to Yorkshire, almost certainly you would visit York rather than Harrogate!
      In all honestly I couldn’t care less about the 250 million who may have watched on TV. I expect HBC & NYCC to look after it’s customers – the businesses and residents who provide their funding. Why should business have to change their behaviour or ‘engage’ due to something imposed on them by an outside body? In my view this is just the organisations responsible for the fiasco kicking out and blaming anyone except themselves for the predicament they created for themselves.

  2. Particularly in the light of these –
    2. “Harrogate Borough Council have said that they will pay for the repairs of the Stray. Why is Yorkshire2019 not paying for the repairs?” and

    4. “The UCI has a reputation as leaving financial turmoil and debt to host parties…”

    Why were the council tax payers of Harrogate & district & NYCC not asked for their views on whether they wanted to host the event prior to it being booked? Will they be consulted on such decisions in future?

  3. If you are small independent that relies on non tourist trade then it’s very difficult to mitigate the loss particularly as many operate hand to mouth. I am not opposed to events such as this and certainly recognise the benefits to the region of the estimated 250m tv audience although this should be viewed through rose tinted Glasses in terms of uplift to long term tourism growth. I feel these events are a distraction to what needs to be down in the town and it’s high street. Everyone just seems to trot out the 250m as some sign of success.

    • And who has been appointed to produce an economic assessment report? E&Y who are being investigated after the failure of Thomas Cook who they audited. I believe they were also fined 1.8m in relation to an audit of Tech Data in 2013. Along with the other big three they have been frequently criticised for the quality of their audits.

      Also don’t you normally do an assessment before taking a course of action, to determine whether to do it, rather than after the event!!

  4. The Damage to the stray is nothing we are farmers and we could sort it for very little cost 22 days one tractor and roller and a set of chain harrows. Just needs keeping off until a few decent dry days then working on. How do you think we sort our fields after removing turf for sale and ploughing etc ?

    • I think the salient point here is why is the rate payer being left to pick up the bill? Did HBC not think to draft a contract to cover such eventualities? What will the total bill be for HB, NYCC, NY police, NY Fire & Rescue, Highways Agency, the NHS, local businesses be, £1 million perhaps?

  5. There will be no long term benefit from the World championships if the people of Harrogate spend all their time complaining and showing that they want the area to themselves and dont want outsiders coming in.

  6. An event of this size is going to publicise our location without a doubt, we all live in a beautiful area but that will only last if we look after it.
    The stray is a communal piece of land that is cherished by the community and is part of what makes Harrogate such a beautiful place to live in. It is NOT an event venue.
    We have the Great Yorkshire Showground that is set aside all year round with purpose built facilities – why was this not used?? We would still have had the race going through our town and supporters would still have come but with no damage to our Stray and people would have been able to park in town and business would have thrived.

    Yes – the stray can be repaired but it will be unsightly and unusable for some time – It is NOT farmland! Our Council should be thoroughly ashamed.
    The stray is not an Event venue,
    My complaint is not that the cycling came to Harrogate but that the stray had all kinds of stands, entertainment marquees, artificial decking and fencing errected on it – WHY was this necessary?? – again, we have the GYS for that and the race could still have highlighted the beauty of Harrogate for Tourism and brought business and money to the town.
    Surely our council had to issue a permit of some sort to allow the use of the stray in this way?

    When are they going to realise that the green open spaces are what draws people to Harrogate and that to many who have lived here for years and cherish the privilage… to see these photos of our Stray in this condition is heartbreaking.

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