Business feels the benefit of the Tour

Lee Roberts at The Fleece, Ripponden.
Lee Roberts at The Fleece, Ripponden.

Business is booming in Calderdale thanks to the economic boost of the Tour de France.

Companies across the region are already feeling the benefits of the world’s most famous annual sporting event coming to Calderdale on Sunday, July 6.

The race is expected to generate a £3 million windfall 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.

For those lucky enough to own a business along the route, the Tour represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a free advert to billions of viewers.

Lee Roberts, one of the owners of the Fleece Inn at Ripponden, said: “It’s a fantastic showcase for us, we couldn’t have dreamed of a better prospect.

“We’ve been planning for it for over a year now and the demand has been unbelievable.

“We’re having a 700-seat grandstand in our car park, for which we’ve already sold 50 per cent of the tickets.

“We’re also organising a fete event in the fields with a 20 metre media screen on the back of a truck so guests can watch the coverage then go to the grandstand to see it go past.

“There’ll be a hog roast, bars and face painting - it’ll be like going to the races but without the horses!

“There will also be a VIP terrace which has been fully booked since before December.”