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Future of Tour de Yorkshire at risk

Joe Robinson
25 Jun 2020

Financial difficulties for organisers could see stage races canned

The future of the Tour de Yorkshire could be in doubt due to financial difficulties for Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourism board in charge of organising the popular men's and women's stage races.

Welcome to Yorkshire has reportedly asked for a £1.4 million bailout and will have to consider closure if the funding is not provided.

According to the Yorkshire Post, the organiser's director, Peter Box, has written an open letter to local councils and authorities for the investment of public money to support the company through to the end of 2020.

However, it is believed the request has been met with a degree of resistance from local politicians.

Notably, Keane Duncan, the leader of Ryedale Council, confirmed that his authority would not be providing their £33,000 share of the bailout. Instead, they would rather see Welcome to Yorkshire fold in order for a new tourism board to be put in place.

Similarly, Hambleton Council has refused to offer its £53,000 share of the money without being presented evidence as to how the funds will be used.

Leader of the council, Mark Robson said that he was unsure such investments would benefit the residents of Hambleton.

'Ultimately the share from Hambleton was going to be in excess of £53,000, plus £10,000 membership. I am not prepared to put something into an organisation that I am not sure will be around in the next financial year,' said Robson.

'I would rather throw the money into something that will benefit the residents of Hambleton moving forward as it will take a long time to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.'

Welcome to Yorkshire currently runs the Tour de Yorkshire race, which debuted in 2015, alongside Tour de France organiser ASO.

The news is by no means the first financial worry for Welcome to Yorkshire. It was revealed last November that the privately owned company had 12 months to pay back a £500,000 rescue loan provided by local councils.

This comes despite Yorkshire experiencing a boom in cycling tourism, culminating with the World Championships which were held in Harrogate last September.

Despite some complaints local business owners, many across the county reported record profits as a result of the event.