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UPDATE: UCI organisers to pay £35,500 to help restore the Stray

UPDATE: UCI organisers to pay £35,500 to help restore the Stray

Published by Lisa Darvill with contributions by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 2:14pm 28th April 2020. (Updated at 2:20pm 28th April 2020)

Harrogate Borough Council has confirmed the organisers of the UCI Road World Championships will pay £35,500 to almost cover the costs of restoration works at the Stray. 

  • A section was badly damaged during the cycling event in September 
  • Yorkshire 2019 will contribute £35,500 towards the £38,000 it will cost in grass repairs 
  • Work will start this week 
  • Council leader Richard Cooper says the Stray will be “returned to its former glory” by Autumn 

A section of the Stray was badly damaged when heavy rain affected the nine-day cycling event in September.

Yorkshire 2019 – a limited company set up by the government to run the event – has now agreed to contribute £35,500 towards the £38,000 it will cost in grass repairs.

Works will start this week – and council leader Richard Cooper said it is hoped the Stray will be “returned to its former glory” by Autumn this year.

He said:

“We have decided to use opportunity to address the historic drainage issues at the corner of Otley Road and West Park. This has been an issue and frustration to local residents for a number of years and I’m pleased to announce this is also being addressed.

“So that we get everything done at once, we have also brought forward planned investment in the footpaths across the Stray. If things go to plan we should see our brilliant Stray better than it has ever been by September.”

An extra £95,000 of council cash will be spent on upgrades. 

Here is a breakdown of the council’s expected costs:

  • £38,105 for repairs to grassed areas of West Park Stray (including a contribution of £35,000 from Yorkshire 2019)
  • £65,385 for pavement, footpaths, fencing, bedding and verge repairs, reinstatement of bins and benches
  • £20,156 to fix long-standing drainage issues
  • £6,325 project management and delivery costs

Hosting the international cycling event resulted in a £17.8million boost to Harrogate’s economy, according to a study commissioned by the council.

However, the council’s study – carried out by EY (Ernst & Young) – has been criticised for not taking into account some businesses’ losses.

Some local businesses had called on Yorkshire 2019 to pay them some form of compensation for their loss of earnings, but this plea was refused.

An aerial image of The Stray following UCI, commissioned by the Stray Defence Association.
Ariel image of the damage caused to the Stray. Credit: The Stray Defence Association


 Contractors Glendale Services will start the repair works by rotovating and spraying the grass, turning it blue for a period of time. This is not harmful to humans or animals.

The area will be left for a two-week period to take effect ahead of planned seeding at the end of May.

Fencing will be placed around areas of the Stray, including the footpaths, as works progress. Once completed, workers will continue to maintain the site before handing it back to the council.