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Local economy boosted by Tour de France

Michael Grimes, owner of the White Lion Hotel in Hebden Bridge.

Michael Grimes, owner of the White Lion Hotel in Hebden Bridge.

Calderdale could be in line for a £3 million windfall when the Tour de France pedals into town - and one hotel in the area is already reaping the benefits.

The White Lion Hotel in Hebden Bridge is already fully booked for next year’s Tour - more than a year before it comes to Calderdale.

Of the hotel’s ten rooms, nine have already been snapped up by cycling fans eager for a roadside seat of the race.

Michael Grimes, owner of the White Lion, said: “They announced it on the Wednesday evening and by Thursday lunchtime, we were fully booked. We have one room left which we’ll be auctioning, and that room looks right over the route. The race will go right past our hotel.

“A couple are coming from abroad and the rest are from right across the country. As soon as it was announced the phone started ringing.

“It’s fantastic that the tour is coming here, it’s really good news for the area.”

The race is expected to generate millions for the local economy by bringing 160,000 visitors to the area - and increase the amount of tourists visiting Calderdale by 30 per cent in the weeks after the Tour.

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift said: “The event will also create a legacy for developing cycling as a sport, for leisure and tourism, and for commuting.

“In spring the council will be hosting its annual tourism conference, and this year the focus will be on all things cycling. Tourism businesses can find out more about the Tour de France and how they can be involved to get maximum benefit from the event. The conference will also look at how we can build on the cycling legacy in the borough.”

We also want to know your plans for when the Tour comes to town next year.

Will you be cheering on the cyclists as they ride through the region?

Do you have any parties organised to celebrate the greatest cycle race in the world coming to our backyard?

Let us know what you’ll be doing to celebrate.

For a special ten minute interactive ride along the route the cyclists will take through Calderdale, see: http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/lifestyle/lifestyle-leisure-and-features/video-tour-de-france-2014-travel-the-calderdale-leg-in-10-minutes-1-5333528

 

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