More than 1000 businesses have attended a series of Grand Départ roadshows around the county in the first ever initiative of its kind to celebrate hosting the opening stages of the Tour de France.
The roadshows have been taking place along the route of the Grand Départ – with others already scheduled elsewhere around the county – to show businesses across Yorkshire how they can benefit from the visit of the world’s largest annual sporting event.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said:
“The response to the roadshows has been staggering from rural areas to city centres. We have been blown away by the reception we have received at every one and the passion of the people we have met.
“We are not even half way through our schedule of roadshows and we have already met with over 1000 businesses, that tells you something great about how the county is gearing up to receive the Tour de France.
“This is going to be huge for the whole of Yorkshire and with everyone pulling in the same direction to deliver the best ever Grand Départ, we can make a huge difference to the future fortunes of our county.”
Businesses have been overwhelmingly positive about the roadshows and the impact it has had on their perceptions of the race and what it will mean to them and their communities both on and off the route.
Sean McFetrich, director of commercial operations at Ampleforth Abbey, said:
“The ideas wheels began spinning when the opportunities for the whole county, not just the Tour route, became clear. The potential for Ampleforth to make links between the monks’ French heritage, our beer, formerly known as “la biere anglaise”, and the super cycling routes nearby is exciting. The roadshow set us off!”
Holly Dannhauser, marketing manager of Stockeld Park near Wetherby, said:
“It was definitely worth attending as we got a real insight into how the Tour is beginning to shape up and it’s really inspired us to get involved. It’s got us thinking of ideas already for our attraction and how to maximise this huge event coming to Yorkshire.”
It is conservatively estimated that the economic impact of hosting the Grand Départ will be worth approximately £100m to the Yorkshire economy. Future roadshow locations include Ilkley and Ripon, (today, 8 May), Sheffield (9 May), Skipton (9 May), Grassington (13 May), Brough (4 June), Whitby (12 June) with additional dates and places being added around the county.
People can register to attend a forthcoming roadshow at www.yorkshire.com/industry and follow the links.