Business festival will focus on Grand Depart’s legacy

WHEN the Tour de France riders arrive in Yorkshire next month, they will bring a wealth of business opportunities with them.

A Grand Depart International Business Festival is being held to try to ensure that Yorkshire firms can benefit from the event’s legacy. The business festival, which is due to run from July 2 to July 4, will highlight ways in which foreign and domestic investment can be secured on the back of the Grand Depart’s success. Panellists have been brought together for the sector-led delegate programme by Leeds and Partners in association with UK Trade and Investment.

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Lurene Joseph, the chief executive of Leeds and Partners, said “Leeds City Region is uniquely placed to unlock business growth for the wider UK economy by leveraging the enthusiasm and momentum around the world’s largest annual sporting event to help ensure the nation retains its top spot as the first destination of choice for foreign direct investment in Europe. The International Business Festival will be a significant catalyst for developing our pipeline of investment deals, pushing existing plans over the line, attracting inward investment and positioning the UK as a preferred destination for business and leisure travellers. There are business events of an exceptionally high calibre happening in all major UK cities this summer, so commercial opportunities abound whatever the size or sector. We look forward to presenting Leeds and its many assets on the world stage.”

The events will include a medical and surgical technologies simulation, and dedicated investor days for developers and intermediaries. There will also be a retail innovation summit, which will explore future trends in retail, health innovation, infrastructure, development and financial and professional services. The programme finishes with an economic conference, and the chance for a number of economic partners to experience the start of the 2014 race in Millennium Square, Leeds. The world’s greatest cyclists will roll from the start line at Leeds’s Headrow before cycling 190km to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales on July 5, before taking on the July 6 York to Sheffield stage two, and the Cambridge to London stage the following day. The full national programme for the International Business Festival can be accessed at