Leader of Leeds City Council heaps praise on success of Tour De France as Portsmouth bids to stage part of global spectacle

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt
Portsmouth Port. Photo by Chris Pearsall

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MORE than £100m was secured for the Yorkshire economy after it hosted the opening of the Tour de France.

Nearly five million people watched the spectacle from the roadside.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake, said it lived up to its name as the biggest event the northern county had held ‘in living memory’.

Cllr Blake said: ‘The atmosphere across the region was incredible, with the size and excitement of the crowds on a scale which everyone will never forget.

‘In economic terms it was a massive success, generating £130m overall and £102m in Yorkshire alone.

‘The event was so much more than just about money though, as the platform it gave to showcase our region and country to a truly global audience has resulted in visitors coming in large numbers from all over the world and helping to establish Leeds and Yorkshire firmly on the map for tourism, business and as a host venue for other major international sporting events.

‘The lasting memory for most people though will be the way it brought communities and people of all ages together in a mood of celebration, revelling in the chance to experience something historic and to be able to say “I was there”.

‘The Tour de France is the biggest annual sporting event in the world, and we are very proud that Leeds and Yorkshire helped to cement its reputation even further.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt hopes the event would leave a ‘lasting legacy’ in the city should it be successful – and that cash generated could go towards improving cycling for all.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘We have got the heritage and the past, but let’s ensure the money we would get coming into the city from that can be put towards safer cycling and tackling congestion problems.’