GOSPORT MP Caroline Dinenage has pledged to campaign hard to bring the Tour de France to the region – if enough local people show they really want it.
Ms Dinenage praised efforts made by Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond to lobby for money to fund a potential bid to bring the opening leg of the elite race to Portsmouth.
If this is something people in the area feel strongly about, then I would be more than happy to have conversations with all of those people responsible.Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage
The cost of drawing up a bid and hosting the Grand Depart could cost up to £30m.
And Ms Dinenage said given the potential wide benefits the event could bring, she will pile pressure on ministers, so long as there’s enough interest from the public.
Speaking to The News, Ms Dinenage said: ‘If this is something people in the area feel strongly about, then I would be more than happy to have conversations with all of those people responsible.
‘There is no point in us fighting hard for something local people are not fussed about.
‘But if they say it would be of interest to them, of benefit to businesses and the wider area, then it would be my duty to campaign for it.’
The News launched its Bring On Le Tour campaign earlier this week to help the bid succeed after event director Christian Prudhomme called on Portsmouth to show its passion for cycling and the sporting spectacle.
Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery backed Ms Drummond’s request in parliament for money.
Mr Hollingbery said: ‘I know that having the Tour in Yorkshire was a great success, so moves to bring it to Hampshire are to be welcomed.
‘I do also know that getting to host the Tour costs money but my colleague, Flick Drummond, has already started to see if this money will be forthcoming and she has my full support in her attempts.’