Tour de Yorkshire set to boost local economy

Tour de Yorkshire 2015 Route Launch - The Spa, Bridlington, England - (from left) Thierry Gouvenou of the ASO, Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Gary Verity, former cyclist Brian Robinson, Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift and Jean-Etienne Amaury of ASO.
Tour de Yorkshire 2015 Route Launch - The Spa, Bridlington, England - (from left) Thierry Gouvenou of the ASO, Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Gary Verity, former cyclist Brian Robinson, Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift and Jean-Etienne Amaury of ASO.

The Tour De Yorkshire could boost the Calderdale economy by as much as £10m this year, according to Steven Leigh, Head of Policy and Representation at the Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

It was announced last week that the inaugural race would be travelling through Cragg Vale, Ripponden and Hebden Bridge during its third stage on May 3.

Stage one on Friday, May 1 will start in Bridlington and finish further up the coast in Scarborough.

Stage two takes in Market Weighton, Beverley and Malton before finishing in York.

Stage three starts in Wakefield and passes through Hebden Royd before finishing in Leeds.

The race will be shown live on television in the UK and across Europe and a huge television audience is expected to watch it.

The Tour De Yorkshire will aim to build on the success of last year’s Grand Depart, which saw 4.8 million people line the route

Mr Leigh believes the economic impact of the event could be felt for years to come, depending on how successful its first year is.

He said: “The official total financial impact on Yorkshire of the Tour De France last year was £102m.

“The Tour De France was a one-off massive event for our region, featuring a huge field comprising the best riders in the world.

“I’m not sure how the Tour de Yorkshire compares and whether it will be as popular.

“Certainly, the enthusiasm of the local population appears still to be strong.

“But by definition there can be no statistics, only reasonable estimates for a first-time event such as this.

“It would surely be reasonable to say that the event could be 10 per cent as popular as the Tour De France.

“If so, our region could benefit to the tune of £10m this year.”

“But more importantly, if this inaugural event is a success, and if it generates £10m or more, it would be likely to gain in popularity as an annual event.

“So would it be reasonable to hope that over the next 10 years the Tour De Yorkshire may have a beneficial effect of around £100m on our region.”