Tour de France gets cash boost

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Calderdale’s MPs have welcomed £10m of Government funding for the opening stage of the Tour de France to be held in Yorkshire next year.

Tourism group Welcome to Yorkshire said the injection of financial support will ensure Yorkshire is left with a tangible legacy years after the race has left.

Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire.  Picture Bruce Rollinson.

Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire. Picture Bruce Rollinson.

The Tour will travel through Calderdale on July 6, 2014, and is expected to attract 160,000 visitors to the area, as well as a £3m boost to the local economy.

The news was announced after a meeting with the Culture Secretary Maria Miller and a delegation of Yorkshire MPs.

Craig Whittaker MP (Con, Calder Valley) said: “This is excellent news for the Calder Valley as this now puts the race on an even footing with the costs being under written.

“I have to pay tribute to my fellow Conservative colleagues for working tirelessly to secure this money and also to Maria Miller MP who grasped the financial issues with the bid when I brought her up to Hebden Bridge back in January.

“We can now get on with planning of the race and look forward to the boost in our local economy when the world biggest cycle race comes to town.”

Halifax MP Linda Riordan said: “I am delighted this money has been allocated. It will be a real boost to the local economy and a real spectacle to see the world’s top cyclists racing through the streets of Calderdale.

“A lot of people have put in a lot of work to secure this cash and I am really pleased it has now been secured.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We welcome the news that the 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 24 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.”

Three million people are expected to line the route of the Grand Départ on July 5 and 6 with early conservative estimates predicting that the event will boost Yorkshire’s economy by £100m.

Here at the Courier, we want to hear what you’ll be doing on the big day next year.

If you live or work along the route the race will be travelling on, get in touch with us and let us know if you’re planning any parties or special events to mark the occasion.

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