Le Tour to boost local economy

14th December 2012.  Celebrating Yorkshire winning the bid to host the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France are, from left, first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France Brian Robinson, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity and the first rider to win a points jersey on a Grand Tour Malcolm Elliott.
14th December 2012. Celebrating Yorkshire winning the bid to host the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France are, from left, first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France Brian Robinson, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity and the first rider to win a points jersey on a Grand Tour Malcolm Elliott.

Nidderdale has been praised in Parliament after Yorkshire secured the bid to host the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in 2014.

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon led a Parliamentary debate on Yorkshire’s victorious bid.

He said: “I regularly see cyclists from all parts of the world touring through the Yorkshire dales and Nidderdale, along such world-renowned routes such as Greenhow hill.”

Although the route has yet to be confirmed it is expected that gruelling hill climbs in the Yorkshire Dales will be included.

Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Coun John Weighell said: “The Tour de France brings enormous international exposure and interest in its wake, and the inclusion of Yorkshire can only be excellent news for the economy of North Yorkshire, and its hugely important tourism businesses.”

Mr Smith agrees that the event will boost the local economy, he said: “We’re very keen to ensure businesses in the area get involved, we know some b&b’s are already taking bookings and will keep in touch with businesses about how best to capitalise.”

Yorkshire has beaten world wide competition to host the Grand Départ of the 2014 event, bringing the iconic race to the North of England for the first time.

Following Tuesday’s debate Mr Smith said: “I was delighted with the support shown by Members of Parliament from across Yorkshire.

“I am forming a cross-party Parliamentary group to ensure that support continues so we benefit from the opportunities that having the Tour de France in Yorkshire can bring to communities and businesses.”

A global audience of over two billion people watch the Tour de France each year and hosting the first two stages of the race is expected to generate more than £100m for the Yorkshire economy.