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Cultural festival to run alongside Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire

  • Date: 18 January 2013
  • Area: North
View of Buttertubs Pass

Buttertubs Pass. Credit: courtesy of Welcome To Yorkshire

Cycling is riding on a wave of popularity following the success of the British cycling team at London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins’ achievement as the first British rider to win the Tour de France, and the world’s largest sporting event will come to the north of England for the first time in 2014.

Yorkshire will host the first two days racing on the 5 and 6 July before the Tour moves south for a third stage in southern England, with a finish in London. A cultural festival will take place in the 100 days running up to the Grand Départ, its events and activities (many of which will be free) building excitement and awareness across the region and a spectacular finale will take place alongside the presentation of the teams.

East Street Arts has announced Bike Fest, a series of city-wide arts events inspired by cycling and pedal-power featuring artists from across the UK to take place in the summer of 2013, and Morley Literature Festival has proposed theming an event in 2014 around Yorkshire-born racing cyclist Beryl Burton.

The news was announced on 17 January at press conferences held in Paris and Leeds attended by Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire and Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director.

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director, Arts Council England said, 'As a keen cyclist I am particularly thrilled that the Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire. The enormous broadcast audience will enable us to showcase the exceptional and diverse cultural life on offer in the region.  For instance, Yorkshire boasts world-renown playwrights like Sir Alan Ayckbourn and John Godber, museums of international importance, and the best brass bands in the world!  Not forgetting it is also the birthplace of modern sculpture through Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.  The cultural festival  will show-off these assets as well as giving artists and communities the opportunity to create new artworks and to join in the celebrations.'

The Arts Council will explore different ways of funding the festival with public and private sector partners. Organisations can also apply to our Grants for the arts programme to create specific arts events relating to the Tour.

Artists and organisations who are interested being part of the cultural festival can register their interest on the Welcome to Yorkshire Grand Départ website.