Tour makeover for derelict site

Tour decorations will adorn the derelict site on the northern edge of Ripon.
Tour decorations will adorn the derelict site on the northern edge of Ripon.

Ripon City’s Development Manager has been granted almost £3,000 increased funding to prepare for the Tour de France coming to Ripon.

The city council discussed the proposal at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting on Monday and voted unanimously to grant Alan Weston the additional £2,975 needed.

Coun Alan Skidmore advised the committee to grant Mr Weston the funds to improve the appearance of the derelict site at the Station Hotel and the auction mart.

The auction mart site has faced an uncertain future after a proposal to build 75 new homes there was rejected by councillors on safety grounds in February.

Plans to demolish the former Station Inn were also dismissed over the risk of gypsum subsidence causing ground instability.

However, with cameras due to follow riders past the building, the decision was made to cover over the fencing with yellow and black graphics of Tour de France-inspired cycling silhouettes.

Mr Weston said: “Residents have commented that the visual appearance needs to be improved as a lot of visitors will be lining that road. It’s also a gateway into the city
and is directly on the race route.”

The additional funds will also include the costs of the implementation of road closures around Market Place.

The City Development Manager explained a suitably qualified volunteer was due to carry out the work for the spectator hub event.

However, as this is no longer possible, the council voted unanimously in favour of allocating funding for a company to be brought in to perform the role.

Funding has also been granted for an addition generator for the Tour de France weekend to accommodate excess power consumption expected for the event.

Mr Weston said: “There is a supply of electricity within some of the bollards on Market Place but with so much going on I don’t want to rely on just that.

“The last thing I want to see happen that weekend is the electricity tripping out and failing on us so I think it is safer to bring in an additional generator to ensure this does not happen.”