Businesses unite to maximise Tour de France legacy

BUSINESSES in an area of North Yorkshire set to be bypassed by the 2014 Tour de France say they remain determined to maximise benefits from the cycle race.

Will Oxley, vice chairman of the Ryedale Tourism Advisory Board and owner of 17 Burgate bed and breakfast, in Pickering, has urged firms to coordinate and share ideas and events ahead of the world’s biggest single sporting event visiting the county.

The call follows widespread dismay in the North York Moors, Hambleton, Ryedale and the Yorkshire Coast after race organisers ASO announced the two stages through the county would only pass through York and the Craven, Harrogate and Richmondshire districts.

However, race director Christian Prudhomme has said plans are in hand to return to North Yorkshire after seeing the beauty of the county’s eastern side.

Three million people are expected to watch the race passing through places including Ripon, Leyburn and Hawes in July next year and tourism-related firms across the county say they are looking forward to a bonanza summer.

Mr Oxley said: “We have to try and maximise the impact. The key is to get businesses of all sizes and of all interests in the industry thinking and looking at what they can do to tap into it.”

Mr Oxley suggested there could be a French food competition to this year.

Ben Pilgrim, of Raithwaite Hall Country Retreat, near Whitby, said: “It is a great opportunity to put the spotlight nationally and internationally on the whole of the Yorkshire area. We are looking to capitalise as a business and enter into partnership with other organisations.”

Rebecca Palmer-Bunting, of the Robin Hood Caravan Park, at Slingsby, Ryedale, said her business would be promoting family cycle rides in Dalby Forest, the Howardian Hills and rides to local pubs in Hovingham and Kirkbymoorside.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway said it would be highlighting that passengers could take bikes on its trains for a small charge before being dropped off in the middle of the moors.

The North York Moors National Park Authority will hold ten workshops and cluster discussions next month on how to make the most of the Tour de France legacy.

More than 90 bookings have been made for the workshops, which will show firms how to market their products, create new revenue opportunities, spot ideas from other areas and collaborating, but there are still places left.

The cluster discussions will focus on food and drink, arts and crafts, and nature and the outdoors.

For details about the meetings, from which an action plan will be developed, visit northyorkmoorstourism.com/workshops

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