Wakefield set to get slice of £100m Tour de France windfall

Barry Hoban
Barry Hoban

WAKEFIELD will get a slice of the £100m generated by the arrival of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

The world’s greatest cycle race will start in Leeds on July 5, 2014, and the White Rose county will host two stages.

More than a million people are expected to line the route and figures show London raked in £100m when it staged the race in 2007.

The route will be unveiled in January but Stanley-born Tour legend Barry Hoban believes Wakefield will definitely benefit from the race.

The 72-year-old, who won eight stages of the Tour between 1967 and 1975, said: “It’s amazing. You don’t realise the people that are going to come from all over Britain and beyond.

“They will stay in hotels, bed and breakfasts. They have got to eat and drink. So it boosts the economy enormously. It’s millions.”

His views were supported by Wakefield Council leader Peter Box, who was a long-term backer of tourism chiefs Welcome to Yorkshire’s bid to bring the race to the county.

He said: “Bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014 will provide us with the chance to promote the region to a massive television audience from across the world and we will use this opportunity to drive awareness of all we have to offer to encourage visits over coming years.

“The tour will also bring a large number of participants, media and spectators to the region and I am confident that here in Wakefield we are in a great position, with our excellent transport links and thriving cultural sector, to take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Council chief executive Joanne Roney has pledged to work hard to ensure the race leaves a lasting legacy across the district.

And keen cyclist and city MP Mary Creagh also welcomed last Friday’s announcement.

She said: “This is fantastic for Yorkshire. Thanks to the Olympics and cycling heroes like Bradley Wiggins there are far more bikes on the road today than when I started cycling 30 years ago. The Tour de France will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that Yorkshire has to offer.”