The impact of the Tour De France’ opening stage on the Yorkshire economy has been put centre stage at a one day forum in Leeds.
The event formed parts of Yorkshire Bank’s Business Week programme.
On Saturday, July 5, the eyes of the World will be on Leeds which will host the opening stage of the 2014 Tour.
For two days Yorkshire will play host to the cycling elite with the economic benefit estimated to be around £100m to the local economy.
To celebrate the occasion Yorkshire Bank held a one-off forum attended by around 80 invited guests to discuss the impact for the local business community.
The Bank’s chief economist, Tom Vosa, provided an insight into the performance and prospects for both the UK and regional economy.
Meanwhile Sir Rodney Walker, from the Tour De France organising committee outlined his vision for this coming summer.
Sir Rodney Walker, chair of the Tour De France Organising Committee, said that summer 2014 was going to be one to remember:
“For two days in July Yorkshire will be hosting the World’s biggest annual sporting event, and it’s going to be a spectacle which will be remembered for years to come.
“With people travelling from across the UK to watch the Tour, as well as huge local support, Le Grand Depart is expected to bring in many tens of millions of pounds to the local economy.
“The co-operation we’ve received from the business community and from local government has been vital in helping to make this happen and we’re confident everything is now in place to ensure the Tour receives the best possible send off in Yorkshire.”
Tom Vosa, Yorkshire Bank’s chief economist, said:
“The UK stages of the Tour De France are set to become among the defining moments of the coming summer and we are proud to mark the occasion with this special event.
“Tourism in Yorkshire is an area which has been underperforming in recent years but a renewed focus on this area would be good for employment and would raise awareness of what the region has to offer.
“The economic impact of the Tour should not be seen as an isolated event but rather the start of a longer term process to plan a series of similar events to attract people back to the region and help drive growth for the local economy.”
Business Week ran from 12–16 May at the banks’ network of Business & Private Banking Centres across the UK host more than 250 free events for local companies, including Leeds, York, Doncaster, Sheffield and Bradford.
As growth and confidence continue to emerge in the UK economy, Business Week aimed to help businesses take advantage and build for the future.
The week included sessions offering business and financial advice, networking opportunities, and discussions on key issues affecting local areas and industry sectors.