Richmondshire councillors have approved a move to plough a further £37,000 into hosting one of the world’s most prestigious cycling events.
After learning a funding gap had emerged over the staging of the UCI Road World Championships in September, Richmondshire District Council’s corporate board passed the additional funding to the £69,000 the previous Conservative-run administration had previously assigned to it.
The event will see the junior men’s road race start from Richmond Market Place on September 26.
The championships will return to the district three days later coming through the Dales on its final day in Yorkshire.
Despite ongoing concerns from some traders and residents over the use of public money for cycling events, members approved the extra funding with no debate.
The decision came just days after it was revealed interest in cycling events hosted in Yorkshire was showing no sign of abating, with this year’s Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race being by a record-breaking global audience of 28 million.
The figure represented an increase of 124 per cent on the fourth edition viewing figures of 12.5 million in 2018, while Leeds Beckett University has concluded the race boosted the county’s economy by £60 million.
The council’s corporate director Callum McKeon said the authority had previously agreed to using the underspend from the hosting last year’s Tour de Yorkshire to fund the hosting of the event.
He told the authority’s corporate board: “It was a bit of an estimate, a bit of a guess, but now we have started working with the organisers and going through the detail it is clear while we didn’t have to pay a hosting fee with the World Championships as we did with the Tour de Yorkshire, the Tour de Yorkshire hosting fee did bring with it a lot of things that were pre-paid, such as podiums and barriers.
“We have got a more detailed breakdown of the costs associated with the UCI and the upshot of that is we need another £36,000 added to the budget.”
Plans for Richmondshire’s leg of the championships feature illuminating landmark buildings with the UCI logo, creating a piece of land art and producing information for residents and visitors.
An economic impact assessment of the district will also be undertaken to assess the benefit of hosting the event.