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Council leader welcomes Tour de Yorkshire coming to Harrogate

Council leader welcomes Tour de Yorkshire coming to Harrogate

Published at 6:54am 26th October 2016. (Updated at 2:18pm 26th October 2016)

The Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Richard Cooper, has described the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire as another cycling "win" for the area.

On Tuesday, Harrogate was confirmed as one of six host towns for the event in April.

Along with Bradford, Bridlington, Fox Valley (Sheffield), Scarborough and Tadcaster, it will stage either a start or a finish.

It's envisaged that being a host town will bring around 100,000 to 150,000 visitors to the Harrogate District and benefit the local economy by around £5 to 7 million.

Welcoming the news, Councillor Cooper said: "It's great, another cycling win for Harrogate.

"After the excitement of the Tour de Yorkshire Grand Départ finish on West Park Stray, we've got a start or a finish again for the Tour de Yorkshire next year.

"Harrogate has become a place synonymous with cycling and that can only be good."

The announcement comes just two weeks after it was revealed that Yorkshire would host cycling's Road World Championships in 2019, which Harrogate is being to tipped to have a role in.

The town's growing reputation among leisure cyclists is something to welcome, according to Councillor Cooper.

He said: "You can see it every time you go around the town - there are more cyclists.

"They don't just use Harrogate as a place to cycle through, they use Harrogate as a base to explore the wonderful countryside around us.

"Harrogate is a gateway to the Dales, we have Ripon Cathedral, Pateley Bridge - a great uphill stretch for cyclists, I know they enjoy it a lot - so Harrogate is a base for cycling and also a place where people come to cycle."

Just over two years on from hosting the exciting finish to the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France, the district is said to be still reaping the rewards in terms of tourism.

Councillor Cooper added: "It is nearly incalculable. The amount of free publicity across the world for the Tour de France amounted to hundreds of millions of pounds.

"The guesthouses, hotels are full, there are more people visiting our shops using Harrogate as a base to go in to the Dales.

"It is a great boost to tourism, a great boost to our economy and one which I welcome very much."

Michael Newby, Director of Visit Harrogate, added: "This is great news for the Harrogate area. Once again, there will be national and international attention focused on our fantastic district which I am sure will help to boost our visitor economy."

Tour de France fan park

Fan Park on the Stray in Harrogate during the 2014 Tour de France