Tour de France: Yorkshire Festival launched

Picture by James Hardisty, (JH1001/89e).
Picture by James Hardisty, (JH1001/89e).

The 100-day cultural event taking place to countdown to the Tour de France has been launched.

Community groups and individuals across North Yorkshire submitted their ideas to organisers Welcome to Yorkshire throughout 2013, in a bid to be part of le Tour - the world’s largest annual sporting event.

Stage One of the 2014 race sees riders take in the dales and Ripon en route to Harrogate from Leeds, while Stage Two passes Starbeck and Knaresborough as the race travels from York to Sheffield.

The idea of the cultural festival, launched today as Yorkshire Festival 2014, is to get the county inspired in the 100 day countdown to the Grand Depart.

Yorkshire Water’s parent company, Kelda Group, was today (January 13) confirmed as one of the arts event’s main supporters.

And to mark the occasion, Yorkshire Water took the wraps off a giant banner at its Lower Laithe reservoir near Haworth.

Exact details of the festival’s programme are being kept under wraps until the end of this month.

The event’s executive producer, Henrietta Duckworth, assured arts lovers that they will not be disappointed by what is in store.

She said: “As one of the region’s biggest environmental investors, employers and landowners, Yorkshire Water has recognised what a fantastic opportunity the festival is for our region.

“They are exploring how local communities and arts organisations can engage with their employees and utilise their land and reservoir sites.

“With this support, we have been able to create an ambitious festival programme featuring world-class artists built around a core of participatory opportunities, across all art-forms, taking place throughout the county for audiences from Yorkshire and beyond.”

Read more:

£2m Tour de France festival takes shape

Tour de France: The story so far