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Welcome to Yorkshire chief meets Prime Minister and cabinet to ask for Tour de France cash

Grand Départ organisers seek government help in meeting £10 million cost of staging event next year

Organisers of next year’s Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire yesterday met with Prime Minister David Cameron and other members of the cabinet to seek government help for the estimated £10 million cost of staging the event.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity had been invited by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is MP for Sheffield Hallam, to address yesterday’s regional cabinet meeting in Leeds, the city which will host the build up to the 2014 Tour and the start of Stage 1.

“Being asked to brief the Cabinet about the Tour de France shows how seriously this Government is taking the Grand Départ,” said Mr Verity afterwards, quoted in the Northern Echo.

“This is undoubtedly a moment for the whole country, not just Yorkshire, to celebrate and today’s positive discussions and feedback from the Cabinet show we are now moving in the right direction.

“Make no mistake, this is a national event, co-ordinated in Yorkshire, for the benefit of Britain. The Cabinet understood that today and I look forward to more positive conversations in the weeks and months ahead.”

Mr Verity also met separately with Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who said that she was keen to see the Tour’s visit provide a lasting legacy, including every child in the region having access to a bike and cycle training.

A government spokesman commented: “It’s great that Yorkshire will host the Grand Départ of the biggest road race in the world next year.
“Cycling is in fantastic shape in Britain, both at the elite end and in grassroots participation, and the Tour coming to these shores will help grow the sport further.”

The Grand Départ, which will see two stages in Yorkshire followed by one from Cambridge to London before the race heads back to France, is expected to generate up to £100 million for the local economy.

Full details of the event can be found on the Le Tour Yorkshire website.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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