Tour de Yorkshire secures possible £600,000 investment in taxpayer money to secure event's future

The thrilling race has been in doubt due to financial difficulties, an expenses scandal, and the coronavirus pandemic

The 2019 Tour de Yorkshire riding up Haworth Main Street
(Image credit: PA Images)

The Tour de Yorkshire has secured a potential £600,000 taxpayer investment to help secure its future. 

According to the Yorkshire Post, six local authorities in Yorkshire have agreed in principal to each contribute £100,000 to the cost of running the event, to cover any shortfall in sponsorship. 

North Yorkshire, Barnsley, Richmondshire, East Riding, Redcar & Cleveland and Craven have all agreed to pitch in a total of £600,000 if needed, while a number of councils in the area have not yet made a decision on financially supporting the race. 

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Race organiser ASO, which also runs the Tour de France, has said it will not accept any losses from the Tour de Yorkshire, so the money would be needed to cover any sponsorship shortfall.

Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourism board which helps run the event, has been trying to revive the race after it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, James Mason told the Yorkshire Post: "It’s really positive news that local authorities Barnsley, Richmondshire, East Riding, Skipton, and Redcar and Cleveland have all confirmed that they would be willing to provide the extra funding, if required, to host the county’s Tour de Yorkshire cycling event in 2022.

"Decisions are expected from other host councils in the near future, including Leeds, Kirklees and Calderdale."

Mason previously admitted bringing back the Tour de Yorkshire has proved "far more divisive than I could ever have imagined" following concerns about the use of taxpayer money. 

The race, according to Mason, costs £2 million to fund with a mix of sponsors and local authorities covering the fees. The 2018 edition of the race brought in a whopping £98 million to the Yorkshire economy. 

But the Tour de Yorkshire, first held in 2015 as part of the legacy of the Tour de France grand départ from the county in 2014, has been in crisis since 2019 when the former  Welcome To Yorkshire CEO Gary Verity resigned following a bullying and expenses scandal. 

The race is currently scheduled to return in 2022, as the organisers plan to use the route that was meant to be run in 2020.

This would be a four-day-long race for the men with stages from Beverley to Redcar, Skipton to Leyburn, Barnsley to Huddersfield and finally the usual monster stage of Halifax to Leeds. A two-day women’s race is also planned for the middle two stages.

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