Taxpayers in the region will pay up to Â£ 900,000 more to fund next year’s Tour of Yorkshire, it has been agreed, as one of the international race’s most loyal supporters has announced that ‘He would reconsider whether such events should receive public support.
A North Yorkshire County Council executive meeting heard from ‘most if not all’ the local authorities responsible for next year’s start and finish towns of Skipton, Leyburn, Barnsley, Beverley, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds and Redcar agreed to pay the race organizer. ASO up to an additional Â£ 100,000 if Welcome to Yorkshire fails to secure enough sponsors for the event.
The tourism organization approached the boards, which also approved paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in fees to ASO, to help secure the event after the French media group said it was no longer ready to assume potential losses despite the possibility of profiting from them. .
The meeting saw key county council members pay up to Â£ 200,000 for the UCI ProSeries four-day men’s race and two-day women’s event on condition that the authority undertakes two reviews after the sixth edition of the race.
Deputy Head of Authority Councilor Gareth Dadd said both reviews will examine the impact of the event, such as the number of sponsorships and media coverage it has generated, and “the principle of support.” for one-off events.
The question of whether public money should be used for cycling races has not been examined in depth by any municipality in the region since the housing tax was first used to help host the Tour de France Grand DÃ©part in 2014.
The reviews follow growing unease among some councilors in the region, and strong opposition expressed by others, over the priority of the housing tax for an elite cycling race over community infrastructure and services, as residents in financial difficulty due to the pandemic are urged to pay more tax on the council.
Sources from a number of North Yorkshire District and Borough Councils say there is little appetite to fund cycling events in the near future, particularly after disrupting travel and the Championships in the 2019 UCI cycling world affected by rain.
However, many elected officials continue to point the finger at the economic impact of the events on the economy of the region. An independent study found that in 2018 alone, the Tour of Yorkshire generated Â£ 98million as some 2.6million spectators lined the course and others saw some of the region’s most spectacular scenery at television.
Its funders have also hailed Welcome to Yorkshire’s plans to reshape the Tour de Yorkshire image by seeking sponsors for the event to support dominant societal values, such as equality, diversity, mental health and sustainability.
After County Council Chief Councilor Carl Les left the meeting as he is a member of the Welcome to Yorkshire board, Councilor Dadd stressed to the executive that the vote on whether to agree to subscribe at next year’s event was “not a decision on Welcome to Yorkshire and its existence” but purely on the Tour of Yorkshire.
He said: âIt is a vital part or has been a vital part of the North Yorkshire economy. Today more than ever, we must not turn our backs on opportunities.
âThe information we have received is that all of these tips that have a beginning and an end have been asked to contribute in the same way and I think most of them, if not all, have made a commitment to do so.
âWe have a leadership responsibility in North Yorkshire. As a leading authority, I think we have a duty to support anything that could have potential benefits for tourism. ”