Clare Burnett

"More to do" in preparation for the Tour de France despite £2.3 million shortfall

The leader of Leeds City Council councillor Keith Wakefield says “good progress has been made, but there is more to do” as the city prepares to host the start of this year’s Tour de France.

The council and TdFHUB2014 Ltd are managing the overall budget for the Grand Départ, which includes the central event management element which was the subject of media scrutiny last week as it is projected to cost £2.3 million more than was originally estimated.

The council has staved off criticism by suggesting that the event is expected to generate more than £100m of economic benefit, and Leeds is making a contribution of £3.6 million towards the £21m budget for stages one and two.

A progress report on work being done in the city in the build-up to Leeds hosting the Grand Départ of the world’s largest annual sporting event has been released today which will be discussed by the council’s executive board at Civic Hall next week.

The report builds on the previous executive board report issued in December, giving an overview on the work being carried out across key areas as the city gets ready to host the start of the world’s biggest cycle race on Saturday 5 July.

A further focus to maximise the economic impact of the race will see the Grand Départ International Business Festival take place at The Carriageworks from 2-4 July.

Organised by Leeds City Council working with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Leeds & Partners, the festival aims to bring international trade and investment opportunities to Leeds capitalising on the unique global spotlight the Tour de France provides. Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said: “People can see when they walk around the city centre from the banners and other indications that the Tour de France is now only just over 100 days away.

“As this report shows a lot of good progress has been made but there is more to do as we get ready to welcome the world on July 5.

Other updates in the report include details of the new park and ride scheme at Elland Road to be used as part of the traffic-management plan for the event, while issues around cycle parking and train services are currently being discussed.

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