Yorkshire can expect “the grandest of Grand Départs” after the government pledged £10million to help pay for the visit of the Tour de France next year.
The announcement came after a delegation of Conservative Yorkshire MPs met with the Culture Secretary Maria Miller. It followed a letter from UK Sport on Monday that rejected the organisers’ initial bid for funding.
Julian Smith, Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon, led the delegation that secured the cash. He said, “This fantastic news comes after months of hard work at Westminster and across Yorkshire from Members of Parliament. The investment will support Yorkshire in making sure we capitalise on the opportunities that come from having the world’s largest annual sporting event in our county.
“I will now be working closely with the government and Yorkshire’s Tour de France team to ensure we have the structure and governance in place to deliver an outstanding event next year that showcases Yorkshire to the world.
“No-one can underestimate what having the Tour de France in Yorkshire means. There will be billions watching on television, millions on the streets and thousands of hotels, bed and breakfasts, shops, pubs, restaurants and other tourist destinations benefiting. We will also see investment in our roads and facilities along the route that will provide long-lasting positives for Yorkshire.
“This £10m of government support will allow us to move forward to ensure that this is the greatest ever Grand Depart.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Welcome to Yorkshire welcomes the news today that the UK Government will provide £10m of financial support for the Grand Départ 2014.
“The Grand Départ will be one of the biggest sporting events of 2014, it will be seen around the world by billions of people and millions more will line the routes of the three stages.
“It will showcase Yorkshire and Britain at its best just 12 months after the success of the London Olympics and we are proud to have been able to have secured the third largest sporting event in the world for this county and country.
“With this Governmental support Welcome to Yorkshire can now deliver the Grandest of Grand Départs.”