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Water way to welcome the Tour

Water way to welcome the Tour

Published at 2:33pm 13th January 2014. (Updated at 8:30am 20th January 2014)

We've had a further glimpse of how the region will welcome this year's Tour de France.

A large banner has been unveiled down the side of a Yorkshire dam to reveal the name of the first ever arts festival to run alongside the world's biggest annual sporting event.

Yorkshire Festival 2014 will showcase the region's finest creative talents on a national and international stage in the run-up to Yorkshire's Grand Départ 2014.

As the region's biggest landowner on the race route, the water company's parent company, Kelda Group, has agreed to give the 100-day Yorkshire Festival 2014 its support.

Yorkshire Water took the wraps off a large banner bearing the official name Yorkshire Festival 2014 at Lower Laithe Reservoir near Haworth - one of eight locations which will host a piece of land art for the duration of the festival.

Henrietta Duckworth, the festival's Executive Producer, said: "As one of the region's biggest environmental investors, employers and landowners, Yorkshire Water has recognised what a fantastic opportunity the festival is for our region."

The 100-day cultural festival will start on 27 March and is designed to encourage mass public participation in arts and cultural events.

The Grand Départ takes place in Yorkshire in two stages, with the first taking in Otley, Ilkley and Skipton, before finishing in Harrogate on Saturday 5 July.

The second passes through Knaresborough and Harrogate before heading down to South Yorkshire on the Sunday.

Richard Flint, Chief Executive of Kelda Group and Yorkshire Water, said: "We're really looking forward to working with local councils and communities across Yorkshire to ensure as many people as possible can celebrate and watch the race."

The official festival programme is due to be announced at the end of January.