First Tour de Yorkshire ‘could bring up to £40m into economy’

The debut Tour de Yorkshire could bring up to £40 million into the county’s economy, according to organisers.

Welcome to Yorkshires Gary Verity unveils the routes of the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire. Picture by Paul Atkinson/ PA Press.

The three-day international cycling event, which will finish in Roundhay Park on May 3, will bring world class stars including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel to the region almost a year after the Tour de France Grand Depart.

Gary Verity, chief executive of co-organisers Welcome to Yorkshire, hopes the race will keep up the two-wheeled momentum in Yorkshire, predicting that around a million roadside spectators will welcome riders from May 1 to 3.

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The 50-year-old feels the first Tour de Yorkshire could be another big hit after last July’s Grand Depart brought an estimated £102m to the county.

Although the true cost of the race is not yet known, given that it is backed largely by private sponsors, it is believed that the event will come in at a snip in comparison with the £27m Grand Depart.

Mr Verity told the YEP: “Proportionally you could say it has the potential to be as significant as the Tour de France.

“It wont be as big as the Tour but it could be £30m or £40m given the right weather and conditions.”

The event will feature a May 1 Bridlington to Scarborough stage and a ride from Selby to York on day two before May 3’s Wakefield to Leeds finale.

The race, which holds a 2.1 European Tour UCI classification, will be broadcast to 140 countries around the world. It also features a May 2 women’s race and May 3 sportive ride for thousands of amateur cyclists.

Organisers claim to be aware of international visitors from as far afield as Scandinavia, Belgium, Japan and Germany booked to watch the riders roll through Yorkshire when it once again grabs the limelight.

Mr Verity added: “I’m thrilled for Yorkshire for every business and local authority and everybody who’s chosen to get involved with this event that will potentially go on for decades and will be there for our children and grandchildren. It will benefit the economy going forward.”

Immediately after the success of last year’s Grand Depart, hotels in core cities such as Leeds and Sheffield reported a surge in summer bookings, particularly from cyclists wanting to tackle the routes for themselves.

The Premier Inn chain, which has hotels all over Yorkshire, saw a 67 per cent increase in rooms being booked by people wanting to bring a bike soon after the race.

By September travel agency Expedia reported that bookings in Scarborough had increased by 109 per cent on the previous year, while Dales venues including the Stonehouse Hotel, near Hawes, declared a “substantial increase” in bookings.

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