£500k set aside in Tour of Britain bid
COUNCIL chiefs have agreed to set aside almost half a million pounds to bid to host a stage of next year’s Tour of Britain.
Cheshire East Council’s cabinet will begin talks with event organisers about hosting a stage of the bike race in 2018.
The council claims that the borough, including Macclesfield, benefited from a £3.5m boost to the local economy when the Tour raced through the region in 2016.
It believes it will cost around £430,000 to repeat the event which includes £300,000 of tax-payers’ cash. The rest will come from sponsorship deals.
At a meeting last week deputy leader Councillor David Brown hailed the success of the 2016 event.
He said: “There were 300,000 spectators in Cheshire East, with around 63 percent coming in to the borough from outside.
“Analysis show a £3.5m GVA (gross value added) to tourism. In one day - that’s phenomenal.”
Coun Brown said it was important to kick-start a bid now ton ‘maximise sponsorship’ which would offset the cost to the council.
He added: “£363,000 (the council spending for the 2016 event) for a £3.5m return is fantastic. But irrespective of the financial investment the feel good factor and community support generated is worth taking it on again”
In the report, Richard Milkins, CEC visitor economy development manager, said the 2016 race generated a number of benefits including attracting more visitors to Cheshire East and enhancing a positive image of the borough and its communities as well as showcasing the cultural diversity and heritage of the borough; developing community cohesion and aspirations and promoting cycling and physical exercise.
He said the tour ‘could be a positive economic and social driver encouraging financial and social investment by a wide range of organisations and communities’.
However, hosting the tour will come at a cost.
Mr Milkins said: “Based on experience from 2016 a gross budget of £430,000 is anticipated, requiring a net investment by the council of £300,000.”
The tourism chief also warned that resources were needed to deliver the Tour of Britain, saying the event meant that other projects were put on hold as additional staff resource was drawn into delivery of the project.
The Tour of Britain in Silk Road, Macclesfield, in 2016