Welcome to Yorkshire lost £1 million due to hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, including £750,000 on unsold merchandise

Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY) recorded a loss of £1 million on the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014, according to a report by accountants KPMG.

Leeds County Council commissioned the accountancy firm for help and the report was filed back in February but was only released to councillors today. The tourism agency predicted a modest profit for 2014/15 but instead lost £1,031,515.

The brunt of the losses reportedly came from £750,000 worth of unsold merchandise including pens, mugs and t-shirts.

WTY continued to sell the merchandise at discounted prices after the race but still had half a million pounds worth in stock at the time of the report. Tour organisation costs came to a further £241,000 and membership to the organisation fell meaning it missed its income targets by £97,000.


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WTY claims that it is back on track with its finances. A spokesperson said: “As of the end of August 2015 Welcome to Yorkshire is on track to deliver a modest surplus for the 2015/16 financial year. WTY is a not for profit organisation. Everything we do is purely to make Yorkshire bigger and better.  Any surplus that we make is reinvested into our work promoting Yorkshire.”

The Yorkshire Grand Départ was described by the race director as the greatest in the history of the race and is claimed to have raised £102 million. The subsequent Tour de Yorkshire drew crowds of 1.5 million to the county.

Councils in North Yorkshire have reportedly agreed to hand over £200,000 to help WTY settle its finances.

  • J1

    Exactly. I don’t think it’s taking everything into account.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    But think of all the money and taxes that were paid for accommodation and the increase in trade along the route it far outways the loss of such a piddly little sum.

  • Andy Roche

    The merchandise was really expensive – not surprised it didn’t sell. I would have bought jerseys etc had the price been reasonable. Great event though. I hope this doesn’t detract from a future Grand Depart in Yorkshire.