Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce at Wednesday’s Budget £30m of funding to prepare the UK bids to host the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup and the 2026 Tour de France Grand Depart.
The former was last staged in England in 2010, when New Zealand beat England in the final at Twickenham Stoop, while the latter was last held in this country in 2014, when Yorkshire staged the ‘Grandest of Grand Departs’ as Tour director Christian Prudhomme said.
In addition, Sunak is set to promise a further £11m for the UK and Ireland’s bid for the 2030 men’s football World Cup, the Treasury has announced.
He said: “I’m excited at the prospect of bringing more world-class sporting events to the UK. That’s why I’m backing these British bids, with over £40m of funding to make our case.
“Our bids will include events taking place across the country, and I’m hopeful that everyone will get a chance to cheer on their sporting heroes.
“Britain is world-beating in both rugby and cycling, and bringing these events home will allow thousands of people to see the next generation of British sporting heroes.”
Yorkshire hosted stages one and two of the Tour de France seven years ago, with the event then moving to London before heading to France.
British Cycling chief executive Brian Facer said: “The 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire was an unforgettable celebration of our sport and is still talked about to this day, inspiring a new generation of cyclists.
“More importantly, those few days showcased our country’s credentials as one of the world’s best cycling nations, and we’re delighted to be supporting the UK Government’s bid to bring the sport’s showpiece event back to these shores in 2026.”
The Rugby Football Union plans to adopt a multi-city and multi-region approach to delivering the 2025 global showpiece.
Doncaster’s Castle Park has staged three England Women’s internationals over the last few years and would be well placed to play a role in staging the games in the tournament in 2025.
RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Government has confirmed funding for the Rugby World Cup 2025 bid.
“Should our bid be successful, we firmly believe hosting this tournament across England would be transformational for the women and girls’ game, bringing thousands of players, volunteers and spectators to our sport.
“Working together with the Government, we can deliver a bid that inspires and showcases the power of women’s sport on the global stage.”
Next summer, Rotherham United’s New York Stadium and Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane will host games in the Women’s European Championships.
And next Autumn the delayed Rugby League World Cup being played across nine cities and towns across Yorkshire, will be held.