World’s best cyclists to generate £100m windfall for Yorkshire

Andy Hindley CEO of Yorkshire 2019, at Welcome Yorkshire, Leeds. (Picture: Simon Hulme)
Andy Hindley CEO of Yorkshire 2019, at Welcome Yorkshire, Leeds. (Picture: Simon Hulme)
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Next year’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire will be worth in excess of £100m to the region.

Organisers Yorkshire 2019 are targeting an economic impact of between £100m and £120m – roughly what the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France brought in – over the nine days of free-to-watch elite sport.

The government is investing £27m into the championships, £15m towards the legacy with the rest going towards the event itself, with a further £3m coming from the Lottery.

“The expectation is to be on a par or a higher than the Grand Depart, simply because we’re over more days, even though midweek won’t be as busy,” explained Andy Hindley, the chief executive of Yorkshire 2019.

“The Tour de Yorkshire had an economic impact of £60m to £64m for their last three-day event. If you take that number, then we should be targeting £100m.”

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, employs Ernst and Young to conduct economic impact studies of its world championships, while the organisers here in Yorkshire will also employ a third party to carry out a survey.

The UCI Road World Championships will take place over nine days towards the end of September, 2019. Harrogate has already been named as the finishing hub for all races, from the team time-trials to the junior races all the way through to the elite men’s and women’s road races.

Six other towns or cities have been named as starting points – Beverley, Doncaster, Leeds, Northallerton, Ripon and York – with the rest to be named later in the year.

Around four million people are estimated to have lined the routes for the two days of the Tour De France in 2014 and organisers expect similar numbers next year, as well as a lasting legacy beyond the championships.

Hindley said: “We want to boost cycling tourism here, it’s one of the things we’re looking at from a commercial aspect more as a legacy and as an input into the economy.”

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