Legacy benefits of Tour de France are clear say business leaders
BUSINESS leaders believe the Tour de France will deliver a long term legacy for Yorkshire.
Speaking following a briefing by former professional cyclist and TV commentator David Harmon hosted by law firm Walker Morris, business leaders agreed that hosting the Grand Départ of the world’s largest annual sporting event in Yorkshire in July will leave a lasting legacy for the region.
Peter Considine, partner at Leeds-based Walker Morris, said: “For Yorkshire, hosting the world’s greatest cycle race will leave a legacy that will go far beyond 2014. Showcasing some of the region’s best scenery on a global platform to the 3.5 billion viewers of the Tour de France will undoubtedly help to promote both Yorkshire and the UK to the world. Having such a spotlight will help to build on the wave of interest and significant investment the region has already benefitted from as a result of the event and the efforts of the organisers.
“The benefits to tourism and to cycling are clear, but I hope that people will also see in the way the county stages Le Grand Départ that Yorkshire is a fantastic place to get things done. If Le Tour’s visit to Yorkshire encourages businesses from other countries to look beyond London and the South East when they are considering investment in the UK then its legacy will be a very positive one for the whole region,” he added.
Mr Considine’s views were echoed by Tim Cameron-Jones of property firm DTZ.
He said: “I spend a lot my time with investors from outside the Yorkshire region looking to buy property in the region and the comment I am getting more and more is that there is an awful lot going on in Leeds and the wider Yorkshire region and the Tour is another example of the spotlight being shone on Yorkshire.”
David Harmon, who is a a respected commentator on the sport for broadcasters including Eurosport and Sky and is dubbed the “voice of cycling”, told an audience of 130 business leaders that there is no doubt that Le Grand Départ will be the most spectacular in the Tour de France’s history when it starts in Leeds on Saturday July 5.
The Walker Morris event at Aspire in Leeds was entitled ‘Everything you wanted to know about Le Grand Départ but were afraid to ask’.
Mr Harmon said the impact of the Grand Depart will help make Yorkshire “the new Belgium” when it comes to cycling. “It will be where everyone wants to come and race.”