Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wakefield to bid for Tour de Yorkshire start despite funds warning

Tour de Yorkshire riders Image copyright Tour de Yorkshire
Image caption Wakefield Council said the benefits of hosting the start or finish of the 2017 race were "incalculable"

Wakefield Council will consider bidding to host the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire despite warnings it could lose the authority up to £475,000.

A council report recommended the authority should not bid for the start or end of the event, but councillors opted to go forward with the bid.

The move could cost Wakefield up to £590,000 and only bring in £115,000, the report claims.

But council leader Peter Box said the potential benefits were "incalculable".

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Wakefield city centre hosted the start of the third day of the 2015 cycle race, with around 20,000 spectators in the city centre and a further 2,000 in the spectator hub at Manygates Park.

Image caption Crowds lined the streets of South Elmsall when the Tour de Yorkshire passed through on 30 April

Thousands more lined the rest of the route through the district.

In 2016, the race passed through the Wakefield district, including Knottingley and South Elmsall, with a cost of more than £100,000.

Some of the race was not televised because of live streaming coverage problems.

The report said there was "currently no provision within existing council budgets".

Funding for the 2015 event came from the Leeds City Region and is not expected to be available in 2017.

Image copyright Wakefield Council
Image caption Councillors discussed the Tour de Yorkshire report on 14 June

Mr Box said the council met developers during the 2015 event who were now making "a huge investment in the district".

"I think it's the right thing to do on balance," he said. "We know we've got budget problems but the potential benefits for the district overall are ones we should grasp."

Hosting a start event costs around £250,000, with around £115,000 brought in from visitors. Hosting a finish costs around £300,000, with £25,000 recouped from visitors.

At least £340,000 more would be required for highway and street scene works, but this would come from the existing budget, the council said.

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