Wakefield makes move to be part of Tour de France art festival

Fireworks light up the sky above Leeds Town Hall in celebration of the Yorkshire Grand Depart Le Tour de France 2014.
Fireworks light up the sky above Leeds Town Hall in celebration of the Yorkshire Grand Depart Le Tour de France 2014.

WAKEFIELD could be involved in a major art festival to celebrate the arrival of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

There will be a 100-day arts festival in the run up to the tour, which begins outside Leeds Town Hall next year.

Last night (Thursday) thousands gathered on The Headrow to watch rockets sail into the air at 7pm on Thursday to mark the Grand Depart of the world’s greatest cycle race in Leeds on Saturday July 5, 2013.

The celebrations were organised by tourism chief’s Welcome To Yorkshire who brought Le Tour to the county.

The 190km route begins outside Leeds Town Hall, wends its way out to Ilkley and The Yorkshire Dales before finishing in Harrogate.

The second and more demanding stage is a 200km journey from York to Sheffield, taking in the most feared climb in Britain - Holme Moss.

The race then moves on to Cambridge with a 170km ride to London.

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, told a packed press conference: “I hadn’t realised Yorkshire was so gorgeous until I spent some time here last spring.”

Images of the county were projected onto a video screen, including The Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Gary Verity, Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive, also spoke about Yorkshire being the county of sculpture, referencing The Hepworth, Wakefield and legendary sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

It was also announced that there will be 100-day art festival in the run up to the tour.

Arts Council regional director Cluny Macpherson told the Wakefield Express that he had already had a phone call from Hepworth director Simon Wallis about it.