Monmouthshire approves £40k to host Tour of Britain

First published in News

MONMOUTHSHIRE council's cabinet have agreed to front £40,000 to host the last stage of an international cycling race.

The Tour of Britain is now in its 11th year and has been previously hosted by Caerphilly County Borough Council last year with a return investment of £1.67 million to the local economy. The council have agreed to provide £30,000 as a contribution to host stage three of the competition and a further £10,000 to pay for street cleaning, roads and for a park and ride system.

The money will be taken from the council's reserves to host the event in September. The final route hasn't yet been finalised but will pass through Monmouthshire including the Wye Valley and will finish on the Tumble climb near Abergavenny.

Cllr Peter Fox, council leader, said: "It was a really important input to the economy of Caerphilly last year and could massively benefit the economy of Monmouthshire in this coming year. Monmouthshire has been recognised as the cycling capital of Wales, hosting the British Cycling National Road Championships in June will be the test in Abergavenny for other events which could bring further cycling opportunities to Monmouthshire.

"It could be a disadvantage to a small number of people, we need to make sure that we do all we can to prepare the local businesses who might be affected by road closures or such things like that. This will give us in Monmouthshire a long term legacy which benefits this county."

Cllr Phil Murphy, cabinet member for resources, said: "The benefits to bring this event to Monmouthshire far outweigh the cost consideration. I think it is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss."

Cllr Phil Hobson, cabinet member for community development, agreed that the race would be a great advertisement for Monmouthshire but raised concerns on how local businesses would be affected.

He said: "I am concerned, I don't want to see what happened with the Ryder Cup, who were more interested in big corporate businesses.

"Cycle races come and cycle races go, what are we going to do to get people to stay in Monmouthshire? What measures are going to be put in to give trade to local business and traders?"

He added: "Monmouthshire is going to give its support to local businesses."

The event is organised in conjunction with the Welsh Government, British Cycling and Sweetspot, a sports marketing company and attracts more than 1.5 million spectators.

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