Company which bought Welcome to Yorkshire’s most valuable assets wants to ‘save the Tour de Yorkshire’

The owner of the company which has acquired Welcome to Yorkshire’s most valuable assets said he will use them to try and attract more tourists to the region and bring the Tour de Yorkshire back.

Robin Scott's company Silicon Dales bought the website, another 163 other domain names, social media accounts and the rights to run the cycling race, as the tourism agency's assets were sold off at auctionbecause after it went into administration last month.

Silicon Dales is an ecommerce marketing agency, based in Manchester, which develops websites and provides technical support to a range of companies.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Scott, who is from Leyburn, said his company is not looking to become a new tourism agency – but it will operate from a new office in York and work with tourism and hospitality businesses to promote the region.

Robin Scott's company Silicon Dales has the rights to run the Tour de Yorkshire and he wants to bring back the cycling raceRobin Scott's company Silicon Dales has the rights to run the Tour de Yorkshire and he wants to bring back the cycling race
Robin Scott's company Silicon Dales has the rights to run the Tour de Yorkshire and he wants to bring back the cycling race

The businessman did not reveal how much was spent on the website, adding: “It was more than I was hoping to pay, but not more than it's worth to us".

“We want to run in a new way to market Yorkshire quite differently from the old organisation,” he said.

“We will attract new people to the region, and bolster our great county’s tourism sector, which has - like the rest of us - endured a truly dreadful couple of years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m now focussing on our first challenge, which is attempting to speak with all interested parties in order to try to save the Tour de Yorkshire.

“The clock is ticking on that very fast, and I can’t promise success, but we will pull out all the stops to make a deal happen for that fantastic cycling event.”

Read More
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak fined over Downing Street partygate scandal

He added: “When we learned the opportunity was still there to get the websites and content, we moved very quickly to try to save the memory of the fantastic 2014 Grand Depart, as well as attempting to preserve the legacy Tour de Yorkshire event.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in Welcome to Yorkshire for their work promoting our region. We will make every effort to preserve the legacy of those efforts.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 2022 Tour de Yorkshire was cancelled last year, after the 2020 and 2021 races were postponed, as co-organisers Amaury Sport Organisation and Welcome to Yorkshire said it “would be unviable” due to “the impact of the Covid-19, combined with escalating financial challenges”.

It has struggled to attract sponsorship in recent years and Welcome to Yorkshire claimed last year it was no longer in a position to subsidise the event and called on nine councils to each provide £100,000 of financial support and another £100,000 to cover potential sponsorship losses

Welcome to Yorkshire was a private company but it was reliant on millions of pounds of public funding provided by the councils.

The organisation went into administration last month as Yorkshire Leaders Board, which comprises council leaders from across the region, decided to stop funding it after a £25,000 independent review. Administrators from Armstrong Watson were then appointed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The tourism agency had long-running financial troubles and a series of PR disasters.

It was originally led by Sir Gary Verity, who received a knighthood for bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014, but he left the organisation on health grounds in 2019, amid allegations he had bullied staff and misused expenses.

His successor James Mason joined Welcome to Yorkshire in January 2020 but left the organisation last October in the midst of an investigation into an unspecified complaint.

Four board members resigned in connection with Mr Mason's departure and he was not replaced as chief executive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Plans to set up a new Destination Marketing Organisation to promote Yorkshire are currently being explored by council bosses and they will discuss them in more detail at a meeting in May.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s last set of accounts, for the six-month period ending in March 2020, showed its fixed assets were valued at just over £1 million,

Related topics: