More plans revealed for Tour de France in Calderdale

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More plans gave been revealed for this summer’s Grand Depart in Calderdale - with the council braced for hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The world’s biggest annual sporting event is set to see 20,000 visitors to Ripponden Bank, while roads along the route are set to come to a standstill on the big day.

Plans are yet to be finalised for when the race passes through Calderdale on Sunday, July 6 but it has been revealed that:

- The council are considering rebranding the Halifax Festival to tie-in with the Tour de France

- They are also hoping to have a mountain bike trail in the town and are considering housing giant screens in the Shay to screen the event.

- Roads in Calderdale along the route will be closed from the ‘early hours’ on Sunday, July 6.

- Northern Rail will be carrying two extra carriages on the day, and will be running a normal weekday service, with trains running every 20 minutes.

- There will be nine helicopters filming the race from the air and an eight-mile procession ahead of the riders en route.

Speaking at a Festival Funding event in Elland, Katie Kinsella, principal officer for tourism at Calderdale Council, said: “It’s a massive logistical operation. We are expecting around 20,000 to visit Ripponden Bank.

“We have been asking local land owners and farmers if they are interested in having temporary camping on their land and about 12 have signed up so far.

“We are advising local businesses to exploit the opportunity not the visitors.

“We want the visitors to recommend the area to others - they will only do this if they have a good experience.”

The full programme for the 100-day cultural festival, which begins on March 27, will be announced by Welcome to Yorkshire later this month.

At the meeting, local businesses, schools and community groups heard about how they could access funding towards projects in the build-up to the Tour.

The Community Festivals and Events Fund is offering £25,000 to be distributed to Calderdale-based community groups and charities who are organising events this year.

Jayne Leech, strategic development co-ordinator for North Bank Forum, who hosted the event, said: “The meeting was for groups of volunteers and community groups to highlight there is this pot of money available.

“Some groups have applied and some need to do some more work on their application.

“There has already been a first round of applications and there is about to be a second round.

“It’s about the legacy of the Tour. Not everybody is into cycling so it’s about broadening the experience for others to be included.

“We want to get the message across about the benefits it can make to people’s health, raise awareness about the competition.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to promote our area and there is also a big volunteering programme linked to this.

“We’ll have lots of volunteers for the event but we would like to use those volunteers in other ways once the Tour has finished.

“We want people from different areas to think about visiting other parts of the town and give people a sense of pride about where they live.”