Skipton - the gateway to the Dales gets to benefit from the Tour de France 2014

PUBLISHED: 09:24 15 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:10 05 April 2013

Skipton Castle worth a visit

Skipton Castle worth a visit

Skipton, Gateway to the Dales, is in a prime position to make the most of the world's biggest cycling event.

There was great excitement of course with the announcement that the Tour de France would wend its way through the Yorkshire Dales. Now the dust has settled a little the important task of planning and preparation for the event in July next year has begun.

Discussions are already underway in the historic market town of Skipton which is known as the Gateway to the Dales. It will welcome not only competitors but the many hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to arrive in the area to watch the event.

Brett Butler, Skipton town centre manager believes they will benefit enormously. He said: I was ecstatic to say the least when I found out that Le Grand Dpart would be coming through our beautiful town of Skipton, the Gateway to the Dales.

With a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people in 188 countries, this opportunity to promote Skipton to tourists and where we work to businesses, is too good to miss.

Skipton will benefit massively from this event and will give the Tour de France a great welcome.

He added: It is estimated the race will be worth 100 million to the economy - and if we can just tap into a small part of that, it will be beneficial for the vitality and vibrancy of our town.

Steve Higham, enterprise manager for the Canal and River Trust said they welcomed the opportunity to showcase their waterways to the world.

He added: Our waterways offer a unique backdrop to any event and clearly theres none going to be much bigger than the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire in 2014. The route passes near some of our most scenic waterway destinations including Skipton near the Leeds - Liverpool Canal and Ripon Canal in North Yorkshire.

These waterside destinations have been key focal points of these towns for many years. Having such a prestigious event passing nearby them is fantastic as many more people will be able to visit them and experience what they can offer. Well be exploring ways in which we can work alongside our partners to highlight the work of the trust and show the canal environment in the best possible light.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is also anticipating a world-class opportunity to celebrate the Yorkshire Dales.

The authoritys chief executive David Butterworth said: Its fantastic news that this beautiful national park will be included in yet another international event following on from last years visit by the Olympic torch.

It will give the thousands of new visitors who come to watch the first stage a chance to see world-class cycling in a world-class landscape. Its also great news for local people not only will they get to see a great sporting spectacle but there should also be a huge boost to the local economy.

It will be an opportunity to showcase the national park to the world, not least the great opportunities on offer for people of all abilities to explore the area by bike at a rather more leisurely pace than the Tour de France riders will set.

Im sure everyone here in the national park would like to thank Welcome to Yorkshire for its hard work and vision in securing this event for our benefit it is a huge feather in our collective cap.

David Sharrod, director of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust said he was delighted the race was coming to the Dales. He added: We at the trust will be getting on our bikes this year in preparation for the big event as some of our staff and trustees plan to take on the 170-mile Way of the Roses cycle challenge from Morecambe to Bridlington, via the Yorkshire Dales, to raise money for our charitable work across the region.

This relatively new route has already begun to bring huge economic benefits to many of the towns and villages it passes through, and no doubt Le Tour Yorkshire could have an even greater impact.

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