North Yorkshire county councillors have pledged a further £100,000 to ensure the Tour de Yorkshire will take place next year.
North Yorkshire County Council had already agreed to back the Tour with £100,000 and the council’s executive has now agreed to make a further £100,000 available if needed to ensure it can go ahead.
Last month, Richmondshire District Council also approved spending a further £100,000 to underwrite the event with some money from its emergency reserves pot, following a warning from Welcome to Yorkshire that without the guarantee the event could be moved elsewhere.
Council chiefs say the commitment means planning for the race and a new Festival of Yorkshire organised by Welcome to Yorkshire can now move forwards.
The festival will focus on the food, drink, heritage and arts.
Council bosses say the race pivotal in helping the region’s economy bounce back after the pandemic and it will have the distinction of being the country’s first non-ticketed mass participation event in the UK since Covid-19 struck.
The tour has been missing for two years because of the pandemic, but officials say that in 2019 it reached a global audience of 28 million, with almost two million spectators lining the route in person.
Independent research demonstrated the race boosted the Yorkshire economy by £60m and it is hoped to capitalise on that potential next year.
North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for resources, Cllr Gareth Dadd, said: “This decision helps to secure the economic recovery of North Yorkshire and the wider Yorkshire region.
“There has never been a more critical moment to stand up for North Yorkshire and the region and to do our bit to help drive lasting economic recovery.
“A vibrant cultural calendar, showcasing the very best of our outstanding food, drink, heritage and culture will have a big role to play in that.
“We have already pledged a £100,000 contribution to the rescheduled event – funds originally generated from business rate surpluses and earmarked to support economic development.
“These are incredibly difficult times for many businesses and organisations, as they fight to survive and get back on their feet after an unprecedented 15 months of pandemic.
“We have, therefore, agreed an additional sum of up to £100,000, which may not be needed. This would be a surety for Welcome to Yorkshire, which is organising the event, to ensure it is able to go ahead if there is insufficient sponsorship. Time is not on our side here. Planning must progress without delay.
The executive also agreed that following the race the County Council should review the effectiveness of the sponsorship of the event and undertake a wider review of the principle of support for one-off events of this nature.
Tour de Yorkshire 2022 race information:
- Day 1: Beverley to Redcar, men’s race, 176.5 km – 60% North Yorkshire; women’s race, 124.3km – 100% North Yorkshire
- Day 2: Skipton to Leyburn, men’s and women’s race, 124.5km – 100% North Yorkshire
- Day 3: Barnsley to Huddersfield, men’s and women’s race, 134km
- Day 4: Halifax to Leeds, men’s race only, 177.5km – 50% North Yorkshire