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Edinburgh could host Tour depart as early as 2014 now city council has backed the bid

Decision would see four days of the race in southern Scotland, England and Wales

The Edinburgh bid for the Tour de France grand depart as early as 2014 has gathered pace, with the city council getting behind the movement.

It's already in motion, with British Cycling backing the bid, and the race's organisers ASO have promised a decision by the end of the year.

Councillors are due vote on the proposals on Thursday.

Nowadays, the race starts outisde France every two or three years and even when it doesn't, typically there will be a brief excursion into a neighbouring country.

It might seem obvious for the city to want the race, but there are associated costs to be met.

According to the BBC, "the hosting fee for the event is about £2m, of which Edinburgh City Council would be expected to pay about £300,000. It would then cost the local authority about £450,000 for a media centre, barriers and police."

If Edinburgh were to host the start of the Tour in 2014, the Grand Départ would kick off a spectacular summer of sport for Scotland, with the Commonwealth Games starting in Glasgow towards the end of July.

The date for the Tour to visit has not been confirmed but is likely to be in the next five years, with the potential for it to be as soon as 2014.

Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh City Council's festivals and events champion, said: "Edinburgh is known the world over as a premier events destination, and with good reason.

"I can think of no more dramatic backdrop than Edinburgh Castle and our historic Old Town and, of course, our residents are well used to laying on a fantastic welcome to the many millions of visitors that travel to the city each year.

"The value that our festivals bring to the local and Scottish economy is well known and an event of the Tour de France's stature would be no different - generating somewhere in the region of £50m.

"Add to that, the profile and exposure that the associated media coverage would bring with it and it becomes a startling proposition."

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Bob's Bikes | 11 years ago

I can just picture it now, the flag dropping on the grand depart then followed 5 mins later by the grand melee as the riders get caught in the tram lines  40

Littlesox | 11 years ago

Tour de France ? Edinburgh ? Ridiculous.

I can't belive what I am reading. Of course, it won't cost much to close the city off for the day, make sure virually every police office in Scotland is on duty and supply security etc.

That will be the same Edinburg threatening to cancel bin collections and close schools because the government budgets cuts are leaving them 90 million short. › Local › Edinburgh › Edinburgh city council

Course, it all makes sense now.

Gkam84 | 11 years ago

Lets hope its not another tram scam and they pull their finger out this time, else you might see the TdF coming to Scotland in 2095  19

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