Aberdeen councillors back plans to bring Tour of Britain to north-east

The Tour of Britain
The Tour of Britain

Plans to bring the UK’s biggest bike race to the north-east have been given the final seal of approval.

Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council are working in partnership with a view to hosting the final stage of the Tour of Britain in 2020 and the Grand Depart event in 2021.

Aberdeenshire councillors backed the project last week and yesterday Aberdeen’s elected members also agreed to the proposals.

Final negotiations will now take place with organising company SweetSpot with a view to entering into a contract.

Jenny Laing, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “We’re in the middle of one of the most exciting periods in Aberdeen’s history and to be bringing a world-class event such as the Tour of Britain to the region is a great indication of the ambition we have.

“The Tour of Britain will provide significant economic benefits to a wide range of sectors, from accommodation and hospitality through to retail and the increased footfall that will be generated.”

The council has hosted the spin-off Tour Series for the past three years, attracting tens of thousands of spectators, and has now joined forces with Aberdeenshire Council to bid for the event to take place here.

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Featuring more than 120 of the world’s top cyclists each year, it is established as the country’s biggest and most prestigious road cycling event – bringing exposure to international audiences through broadcast coverage in more than 170 nations worldwide.

Ian Yuill, Liberal Democrat leader on the council, tabled an amendment at yesterday’s full council meeting, which would have also committed the council to investing at least 2.5% of the council’s transport budgets in 2020-21 and 2021-22 to improving cycling infrastructure.

But this was not agreed by councillors.

Mr Yuill said the event would be “fantastic” for the city, but added it was important to “create a legacy”.

He said: “Part of that has to be improving cycling infrastructure.

“The Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for sensible and prudent investment.”