Portsmouth MP’s call for ‘convincing’ masterplan to host Tour de France

The Tour de France could be heading for Portsmouth
The Tour de France could be heading for Portsmouth
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CITY leaders are being urged to pull together a convincing business case for the region to showcase the Tour de France in 2019.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond says it’s now down to the city council to come up with a masterplan for how they would intend to hold the Grand Depart of Le Tour.

It will take a bit of time to do that as in terms of the cost of the event, we’re talking huge numbers. The business case has to be absolutely watertight.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond

The dossier would then need to be presented to the Treasury and chancellor George Osborne – who would then decide whether it should allocate cash to enable the spectacle to take place in the Solent region.

It comes after Mrs Drummond met culture secretary John Whittingdale, who advised that the request for substantial funding would need to be granted by Mr Osborne and his team.

Mrs Drummond, who has also raised Portsmouth’s Le Tour aspirations during a speech in the Commons, said: ‘What we have asked the council to do is make the business case for it now.

‘That’s the next stage.

‘Once it has done that, the case will be put to the Treasury.

‘It will take a bit of time to do that as in terms of the cost of the event, we’re talking huge numbers.

‘The business case has to be absolutely watertight.

‘It has to work as this is taxpayers’ money we are talking about.’

Drawing up a bid to present to Tour de France bosses could cost £1.5m and hosting the event could see the bill rise to £30m.

A plan would need to be worked out for all aspects of the Tour, such as the road layout, road safety, traffic management plans, police, health, hotel operators, parking, park-and-ride provisions, potential advertising space for sponsors and other companies, while also working with Visit England and VisitBritain.