Harrogate council should put aside £785,000 to meet the cost of hosting the Tour de France next year according to a report set to be submitted to the Cabinet next week.
The council is seeking Cabinet approval to allocate £785,000 to ensure the council meets ‘the financial, contractual and organisational requirements to deliver a successful Grand Depart to the Tour de France.
The ‘spectator experience’ is highlighted as an important part of the event in the report by the director of development services Nigel Avison.
“It is vital that those who wish to attend, as well as those who do not, have a great experience. Following the great experiences during the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics the Government agree that the spectator experience is vital to the event.”
‘Spectator hubs’ and ‘family-focused activities’ are planned for the days of the race with over 100,000 expected to turn out for the stage one finish in Harrogate.
Town and parish councils, landowners and community partnerships are expected to take responsibility for delivering spectator hubs, according to the report, with the assumption that official hubs will be established in Ripon and Masham on stage one and Knaresborough and Starbeck on stage two.
Harrogate Borough Council Leader, Coun Anthony Alton, said: “The Tour de France is the world’s largest annual sporting event. It’s massive and it will bring a great many opportunities to this district.
“Specialists have been looking at crowd-modelling and on day one (July 5) we can expect around 300,000 to watch the race live as it passes through the district and over 170,000 on day two (July 6).
“This district is unique, in that the race will come through our district on two consecutive days. This doesn’t happen anywhere else.”
Coun Alton, who sits on the council’s Tour de France steering group, added: “We realise this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we want to make sure that businesses, community groups, residents and visitors get the most from it.”
Harrogate Borough Council, working with North Yorkshire County Council, has produced guidance sheets to cover setting up temporary campsites and temporary car parks, renting out homes or setting up B&Bs.
The Grand Départ is expected to boost Yorkshire’s economy by £100m. Cabinet will decide whether or not to approve the budget on Wednesday, August 21.
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