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Big spend for “the very Grandest of Grand Départs”

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson has announced today that government will provide up to £10 million in funding to help host the opening stages of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire and the third stage from Cambridge to London.

Mr Robertson said: “The Tour de France is the biggest event in cycling and for this country to host the Grand Départ is a real honour. We want to help deliver a world class event that boosts all the local economies where the race will pass through, and encourage more people to get involved in cycling.”

The total cost of the UK leg of next year’s Tour de France will be £21 million, according to a Commons answer from Mr Robertson on June 20.

The 2014 Tour de France will start in Leeds on Sunday July 5 with a stage that pops into the Yorkshire Dales and finishes in Harrogate. The following day riders set off from York and head into the Pennines for the hilliest of the three stages that ends in Sheffield. They then transfer to Cambridge for the start of stage three, which will finish in London on The Mall.

Mr Robertson also announced the creation of a new organising committee, TDF 2014 Ltd, to deliver the three stages of the Grand Départ.

TDF 2014 Ltd will have a board that includes representation from Yorkshire and Cambridge local authorities, as well as British Cycling, Transport for London and UK Sport. The board will be chaired by Sir Rodney Walker, the former chair of UK Sport and will also include Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield and Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity.

The last time the UK hosted the start of the Tour de France was in 2007, when the race kicked off with a prologue in Westminster, and then made its way to Canterbury.

Those two stages are reported to have cost between £5 million and £10.5 million depending on the source. Transport for London’s Grand Départ 2007 Research Summary mentions an organisational spend of £5 million. Ealing Conservative councillor Phil Taylor says Transport for London eventually told him the figure was £10.5 million after some badgering. Transport for London claimed some £73 million in economic benefit from the 2007 Grand Départ.

The higher cost of the 2014 Grand Départ will come from the greater scale of the event - three stages instead of two - and the greater complexity of three full road closures rather than 2007’s city centre time trial loop and London to Canterbury dash.

The six years since 2007 have seen a huge increase in the profile and popularity of cycling, with two British Tour de France winners and huge Olympic medal hauls at Beijing and London. It’s conceivable that this has emboldened organisers to plan and budget for what Gary Verity has called “the very Grandest of Grand Départs”.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

33 comments

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mrmo [2067 posts] 2 years ago
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not to knock the spending, which imo is good, how much is the government investing in cycling as detailed by the recent spending review....

Now compare the numbers, something is seriously screwed.

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qwerky [184 posts] 2 years ago
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I expect it won't be long before the narrow minded pipe up about it being money wasted.

Well done Yorkshire, I'll see you there!

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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Well call me narrow minded, but I still can't see why a profitable private enterprise needs a subsidy from the taxpayer.

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mrmo [2067 posts] 2 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Well call me narrow minded, but I still can't see why a profitable private enterprise needs a subsidy from the taxpayer.

Why do you think ASO is profitable? They make money by charging towns money to host stages of the TdF.

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badback [302 posts] 2 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Well call me narrow minded, but I still can't see why a profitable private enterprise needs a subsidy from the taxpayer.

Because it will generate income for the area and ultimately the government's coffers.

See you on Holme Moss !

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Well call me narrow minded, but I still can't see why a profitable private enterprise needs a subsidy from the taxpayer.

Why do you think ASO is profitable? They make money by charging towns money to host stages of the TdF.

Yes, and the Towns are happy to pay the money because they make a bundle when the Tour comes through.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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badback wrote:

Because it will generate income for the area and ultimately the government's coffers.

You could say the same about The Glyndebourne Festival. That doesn't get a subsidy.

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badback [302 posts] 2 years ago
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Whilst the Glydebourne is nice if you like that kind of thing I suspect there will be a few more people going to watch le Tour.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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...which means less need of subsidy.

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Saturdayboy [49 posts] 2 years ago
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Rumpo Kids' Glyndebourne comparison doesn't really make sense as that is a ticketed event with weekend tickets at circa £200, its a different business model. You could say the same about a Stones gig or any other ticketed event that makes revenue. Watching a road race is free, but the benefit is to local business as a whole and not just the promoter. Anyway Opera as an art form is heavily publicly subsidised and probably wouldn't survive commercially if it wasn't. Feel like I'm straying from the point a bit.....can't wait for grand depart next year.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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Saturdayboy wrote:

Rumpo Kids' Glyndebourne comparison doesn't really make sense as that is a ticketed event with weekend tickets at circa £200, its a different business model. You could say the same about a Stones gig or any other ticketed event that makes revenue. Watching a road race is free, but the benefit is to local business as a whole and not just the promoter. Anyway Opera as an art form is heavily publicly subsidised and probably wouldn't survive commercially if it wasn't. Feel like I'm straying from the point a bit.....can't wait for grand depart next year.

Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to the tour myself. As you say the benefit is to the promoter and LOCAL business. So why the subsidy from Central Government?

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mrmo [2067 posts] 2 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

So why the subsidy from Central Government?

we don't live in a free market, local government is funded by central government, council tax is a pitance in the grander scheme.

You might as well ask why eads is subsidised, or why uk coal, or the trains, the buses etc etc etc

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crazy-legs [730 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

As you say the benefit is to the promoter and LOCAL business. So why the subsidy from Central Government?

Cos the tourism benefits will be felt far more widely than just Yorkshire. People flying into Gatwick/Heathrow/Edinburgh/Birmingham/Manchester, travelling to Yorkshire, maybe a stop off somewhere else - after all I've been to France to see the Tour but I don't pop over, watch it for a day and come back, I fit it in as part of a week long holiday.

And besides, the Tour isn't just Yorkshire, the whole "Grand Depart" thing encompasses three days, 2 in Yorkshire then Cambridge to London.

Central Government offers a whole host of regional grants etc, it's still got a remit to support the entire UK.

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:
Saturdayboy wrote:

Rumpo Kids' Glyndebourne comparison doesn't really make sense as that is a ticketed event with weekend tickets at circa £200, its a different business model. You could say the same about a Stones gig or any other ticketed event that makes revenue. Watching a road race is free, but the benefit is to local business as a whole and not just the promoter. Anyway Opera as an art form is heavily publicly subsidised and probably wouldn't survive commercially if it wasn't. Feel like I'm straying from the point a bit.....can't wait for grand depart next year.

Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to the tour myself. As you say the benefit is to the promoter and LOCAL business. So why the subsidy from Central Government?

Look at the Olympics, how much tax payer money was thrown into that and here in the north east i'm still waiting to see how it has helped us. i expect it will be a long wait. However the Grand Depart is up here and will ultimately help us up here.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:

So why the subsidy from Central Government?

we don't live in a free market, local government is funded by central government, council tax is a pitance in the grander scheme.

You might as well ask why eads is subsidised, or why uk coal, or the trains, the buses etc etc etc

Well actually I DO ask why UK Coal is subsidised. Just not on cycling websites.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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stumps wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
Saturdayboy wrote:

Rumpo Kids' Glyndebourne comparison doesn't really make sense as that is a ticketed event with weekend tickets at circa £200, its a different business model. You could say the same about a Stones gig or any other ticketed event that makes revenue. Watching a road race is free, but the benefit is to local business as a whole and not just the promoter. Anyway Opera as an art form is heavily publicly subsidised and probably wouldn't survive commercially if it wasn't. Feel like I'm straying from the point a bit.....can't wait for grand depart next year.

Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to the tour myself. As you say the benefit is to the promoter and LOCAL business. So why the subsidy from Central Government?

Look at the Olympics, how much tax payer money was thrown into that and here in the north east i'm still waiting to see how it has helped us. i expect it will be a long wait. However the Grand Depart is up here and will ultimately help us up here.

I don't think you can compare a money making race like The Tour with the Olympics, which is a competition between Nations. And I live in London, where we paid more than anyone else, and the major legacy of the games for us is debt.

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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Not meaning to be funny but how did you, due to living in London, pay more than any other tax payer ?

It's an honest question mate because i honestly dont know.

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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The Olympics is a money making project though, just look at all the merchandise, spin offs, sponsorship and not to mention the ridiculous cost of tickets.

In that respect it worse than the Tour as you dont have to pay for tickets in the tour.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

not to knock the spending, which imo is good, how much is the government investing in cycling as detailed by the recent spending review....

Now compare the numbers, something is seriously screwed.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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stumps wrote:

Not meaning to be funny but how did you, due to living in London, pay more than any other tax payer ?

It's an honest question mate because i honestly dont know.

As well as contributing taxes to the 6.25 Billion Central Government funding for the Olympics, London Taxpayers, via the GLA and LDA, contributed another 0.88 Billion.

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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Sorry, GLA and LDA ?

I'm showing real ignorance here but how did they and ultimately you pay more ?

Again it would be interesting to know because its not something i've heard mention before.

EDIT - Greater London Authority - GLA. Sorry !

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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stumps wrote:

Sorry, GLA and LDA ?

I'm showing real ignorance here but how did they and ultimately you pay more ?

Again it would be interesting to know because its not something i've heard mention before.

EDIT - Greater London Authority - GLA. Sorry !

Just saw the edit! The (now defunct) London Development Agency was the development arm of the GLA, which since 2012 has taken over most of its functions.
I love the "its not something I've heard mention before" Most of the people I know talk of little else. The figures I gave you are from last summer (ODA, quoted in The Guardian 26/7/2012), and unlikely to represent the true cost. And the meter's still running on maintenance and protection of the Olympic sites until they are sold.

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duzza [57 posts] 2 years ago
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i wonder how much central government would of stumped up if the tour wasn't going to london?

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Not KOM [79 posts] 2 years ago
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I live in Sheffield, I don't have any spare rooms for that weekend at all! We've already got everyone and their dog (who will be kept securely on a lead) coming to Sheffield to watch the stage past our house.

So that's about seven people extra in my house alone, eating, drinking, enjoying themselves in Sheffield and generally have a great time.

Considering how much they spend, and how much Sheffield is struggling, that is £10 million well spent! But I would say that, wouldn't I?

It's lovely for somewhere outside of London to have a little of the attention for once  4

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Gkam84 [9084 posts] 2 years ago
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So, I'll be the one to raise it AGAIN....

You know Edinburgh's bid was all ready and they had funding sorted, not just thrown together and then having to find funding.

I find it obnoxious that the bid are taking money from the government because they should have had it in place before their bid was accepted by the ASO.

Disgusted that the government even offered to chip in HALF the fecking money.

Everyone was moaning about Edinburgh's route. But at least MORE people would have seen it, It was also NOT going to London.....

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Tovarishch [59 posts] 2 years ago
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Would you like chips with that?

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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Gkam, you know Yorkshire won BECAUSE they have included london in one of the stages, although that will never be admitted.

In the end Edinburgh was the best route but there's nothing we can do about it now except enjoy it when it comes to Yorkshire.

Rumpo, sorry but i have no interest in the London develpment agency and certainly dont talk about it, probably like you never discuss One North East, also now defunct thanks to the govt.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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stumps wrote:

Gkam, you know Yorkshire won BECAUSE they have included london in one of the stages, although that will never be admitted.

In the end Edinburgh was the best route but there's nothing we can do about it now except enjoy it when it comes to Yorkshire.

Rumpo, sorry but i have no interest in the London develpment agency and certainly dont talk about it, probably like you never discuss One North East, also now defunct thanks to the govt.

Stumpy. You asked what the LDA was and I took the trouble to tell you. Next time use Google.

Having restored my usual genial composure, it's now time for a wild fantasy. Why not have a race using the Prologue and stages of the Scottish bid, going south to link up with the Yorkshire Grand Depart and route. Throw in an ITT along the way, and finish off with a London circuit while the Tdf is recovering from the transfer with an easy stage, and you have a Women's nine stage road race. (I did say it was a fantasy).

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 2 years ago
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Rumpo, i asked you what it was because a: i didnt know and b: its called communication and i was interested in what you had to say hence why i asked and c: it's a forum where you can ask these sort of things.

Yes, i could have googled it but despite that you have to be pedantic. No wonder everyone says people from london have an attitude problem and i can see why now.

Finally why do we need a stage into London, people say its for ease of transfer but look at the Giro next year. They are travelling further from Dublin but its not a problem there is it.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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stumps wrote:

Rumpo, i asked you what it was because a: i didnt know and b: its called communication and i was interested in what you had to say hence why i asked and c: it's a forum where you can ask these sort of things.

Yes, i could have googled it but despite that you have to be pedantic. No wonder everyone says people from london have an attitude problem and i can see why now.

Finally why do we need a stage into London, people say its for ease of transfer but look at the Giro next year. They are travelling further from Dublin but its not a problem there is it.

I'm not being pedantic. I told you something you wanted to know. Did you thank me? No. You just said you had no interest. And you have the audacity to talk about the attitude problem of Londoners.

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