Wrexham could host Tour of Britain Stage Finish in September
Wrexham could get a multi million pound boost and help raise it’s profile a Tour of Britain Stage Finish in September.
In August our sister site Wrexham.com reported on plans to bring sections of the cycling event to Wrexham on a regular basis.
Since then Wrexham Council were told the Tour Series was no longer going ahead “due to there being insufficient support from other Local Authorities to host the event and make it viable”.
As an alternative the organisers have offered Wrexham to host a stage finish of the Tour of Britain in September 2023.
Wrexham Council are keen to go ahead with that proposal, however the host fee for Tour of Britain is £124,000 – £44,000 more than the previously agreed sum for the Tour Series.
There is a range of extra possible costs of around £30k, bringing the total possible to £154,000 however “…the intention is that the organiser will then seek sponsorship contributions that will then be offset against the host fee reducing the Council’s contribution”.
In the week where Hollywood secretly came to the same chamber where this will be discussed, the council are in part justifying the spend by saying the event “… would bring mass media coverage to Wrexham, showcasing the region as a destination to host large-scale events” and “would bring mass media coverage to Wrexham, showcasing the region”.
No media value estimates have been made on the £ price of Monday’s missed opportunities, however the recognition of such things having a value are included in this new report as it attributes a projected “media Value £1.2M for the area” if the event takes place.
The Women’s Tour sets out from Wrexham as St Giles rings out 11am 👏 pic.twitter.com/zptOSh3nFg
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) June 9, 2022
The starting stage for the Women’s Tour hosted by Wrexham in June 2022 is referenced, an event that was a damp squib.
Wrexham was meant to leverage the Tour Stage like others have done (with hosts encouraged to engage) with an expectation of speciality produce and meal deals, cycling related art installations, bike themed shop window displays as well as local businesses ready for an influx of visitors for a packed town centre – although on the morning not much happened.
A report due before the executive board on Tuesday (18 April), explains: “In 2022, the hosting fee for the Women’s Tour Stage Start was £15,000 and the additional hosting requirements were approximately £15,000.”
Plans for the new event recognise the involvement of the local community is needed this time, saying it is a “platform to engage local communities and schools (our intention is to work closely with the schools liaison officer and Health and wellbeing team to coordinate activities around the finish line prior to the race)”.
Some good news for the people of Wrexham is, much like back in 2015, streetworks will take place with potholes repaired on the route and to make the roads bike-safe.
A comparison from Nottinghamshire is given as what Wrexham could gain from the event, and what we would expect locally:
- 69 per cent of spectators came from outside of the county to watch the race
- 60 per cent of fans said they would visit Robin Hood Country again
- Almost a quarter of visitors stayed overnight
- 86 per cent of visitors described the race as ‘very enjoyable’
- More than three-quarters of people came here with their families
- 50 per cent of people revealed that the race has inspired them to cycle more
- an impressive 225,000 fans lining the 186.8km (116m) route
Wrexham Council say they expect “…up to £4M boost to the North Wales economy – in 2015, the net visitor expenditure of the Tour of Britain event on the North Wales economy had a gross expenditure impact of £4,840,483”.
In a media brief last week Lead Member for Economy and Regeneration Cllr Nigel Williams maintained the change of hosting plans was still within budget.
He said: “It’s the largest most prestigious cycling event in the UK and it is free for spectators.
“The costs are all within the allocated budget for the year, for placemaking.
“It’s still all within budget. The placemaking budget was put in place last year and as projects come up each one is looked at on its own merit and costed.
“This came up in February. We were told the original Tour Series wasn’t going to go ahead and financially this still sits within budget.”
The council’s chief executive Ian Bancroft added: “The Tour of Britain is fairly major in the cycling calendar. The Tour Series has been less embedded.
“The idea was to promote cities this year and major areas. Our reading is they haven’t been able to get the support for the range of events in the calendar. If there was one they were going to stick to, it would be the Tour of Britain, and I think getting a Stage Finish is extremely significant.
“You want a Stage Finish if you’re going to maximise publicity and economic impact.”
Leader of the council Cllr Mark Pritchard added that he hopes the change of plan will gain support.
“I think it’s fantastic for Wrexham, North Wales”, he said.
“We’re aspirational, we want to promote Wrexham as a place. We hope the hotels do well, we hope a lot of people come in their thousands to support it.
“This should tell you how ambitious we are as a council to put major events on during this very difficult time.
“These aren’t easy times but we’ve said the economy, the businesses, profile of Wrexham is global now. It’s a showcase, it’s only the start.”
Top pic: Women’s Tour start in Wrexham then town centre last year.
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