Council leaders pledge to bring more major events to region after Tour de Yorkshire disappointment

Council leaders say they will continue to work closely with tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire on bringing major events to the region despite the “disappointing” cancellation of the Tour de Yorkshire for the third year in a row.

The Tour de Yorkshire will not be returning in 2022.

It was announced last night that the Tour de Yorkshire will not take place in 2022 after Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO, the French company which put on the event along with the Tour de France, were unable to reach agreement on how the event would be funded.

It follows councils along the intended route being asked to put up a further £100,000 on top of their original £100,000 investment for staging part of the race. The extra money was intended to be used to cover any potential shortfall in sponsorship after ASO said they would not be willing to shoulder any losses from the event.

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While six councils - North Yorkshire, Barnsley, Richmondshire, East Riding, Redcar & Cleveland and Craven - had agreed to provide the extra money if required, decisions on handing over the extra support had yet to materialise from Leeds, Calderdale and Kirklees.

The event was first held in 2015.

In a series of similarly-worded statements sent to the Yorkshire Post, council leaders said they were disappointed the event would not be taking place next year but would continue to work with Welcome to Yorkshire on future projects.

Councillor Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council said: “With regret Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) have reached a mutual agreement that it will not be feasible to hold the Tour de Yorkshire in 2022.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been working so hard behind the scenes to try to bring back the race next year. We’re still living in uncertain times through the pandemic which makes the organisation of large-scale sporting events very challenging.

“I know this will be very disappointing news for our communities across Calderdale, who have provided such strong support for the race.

“We will continue to work with Welcome to Yorkshire and other local authorities across the region to explore future cycling and other sporting events in the future, which are so important for our tourism sector as part of the recovery.”

Leader of Craven District Council Councillor Richard Foster said: “We are naturally disappointed that the Tour de Yorkshire will not be going ahead next year. We were really looking forward to showcasing our region and putting on a warm welcome for cyclists and spectators. On the other hand knowing now the race has been cancelled means that no resources have been unnecessarily wasted in planning for the event. Although there is no TdY next year we look forward to working with Welcome to Yorkshire on other events to promote our fantastic region.”

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor James Lewis said: “While this news is disappointing we fully understand and support the decision taken by the race organisers. Following on from the Tour de France Grand Départ, the Tour de Yorkshire quickly established itself as a major international event in its own right, showcasing our region to the world and being watched and supported in huge numbers. While it is sad it will not be held in 2022 we will continue to work closely with Welcome to Yorkshire and all partners on a range of exciting future projects including hosting more major international events in Leeds.”

Cllr Gareth Dadd, Executive Member for Resources at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “We share the public’s disappointment that the Tour De Yorkshire will not take place next year, but we also understand that the impact of Covid on planning timescales and the uncertainty around the pandemic looking ahead, mean a decision must be made now.

“The race has a place in the hearts of very many people across North Yorkshire and attracts large numbers of visitors who come to watch the event, or visit here afterwards thanks to the television coverage showcasing our stunning landscapes across the world.

“North Yorkshire is currently playing a central role in the national staycation boom and we will work with Welcome to Yorkshire and other key partners here to support a continued and strong economic recovery from the pandemic. We will also continue to look for ways to celebrate the county and the wider region as a great place to live, work, visit and invest in.”

Cllr Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “It is hugely disappointing that next year’s Tour de Yorkshire will not go ahead. We have worked closely with Welcome to Yorkshire over the past few years with a view to Redcar hosting a stage of the race. There has been a real appetite for cycling events in our borough, with the Klondike and, more recently, the fantastic spectacle of the Tour Series in Guisborough. We look forward to any future opportunities to be at the centre of nationally-renowned events and we will continue to work closely with Welcome to Yorkshire. In the meantime, we will continue to develop our own events plan to ensure our residents and visitors have a great time, while staying safe and helping to restrict any spread of the Covid-19 virus.”

A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “This is really disappointing for Kirklees and the whole of Yorkshire. Tour de Yorkshire is an event we were really excited to be a part of and we know how much local people and visitors were looking forward to seeing the race come through Kirklees.

“However, with the challenges Covid-19 has presented and concerns around the financial viability of holding the event in 2022, we understand that this is the right decision and made for the right reasons. We remain hopeful about being a part of these huge events in the future. We will continue to talk with Welcome to Yorkshire about next steps.”

An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: "It is disappointing that the 2022 Tour de Yorkshire will not be going ahead. The council had worked hard with Welcome to Yorkshire and other neighbouring local authorities to ensure the race returned but we understand the reasons why the decision has been made not to go ahead with the race next year.

"The Tour de Yorkshire has previously been a highlight of our events calendar and has brought together communities across the area as the riders passed through our towns and villages, and we are hopeful that the event will feature again in future years.

"The council will continue to work closely with Welcome to Yorkshire and other partners to develop future events in the East Riding to ensure residents and visitors to our area continue to see the best of what East Yorkshire has to offer."

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