Professional cycling’s Tour of Britain is set to make its north-east debut next year after plans to bring the showpiece event to the region were 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 event’s Grand Depart in 2021.
Aberdeenshire councillors gave their approval for the project last week and today (Monday June 24) Aberdeen’s elected members agreed to the proposals.
Final negotiations will now take place with organising company SweetSpot with a view to entering into a contract.
Aberdeen City Council has hosted the spin-off Tour Series for the past three years, attracting tens of thousands of spectators, and has joined forces with Aberdeenshire Council to attract the Tour of Britain.
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 over 170 nations worldwide.
Cllr Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “We’re in the midst of one of the most exciting periods in Aberdeen’s history and to be bringing a world class event in the Tour of Britain to the region is a great indication of the ambition we have. We have seen crowds lining the streets of stages all over the UK and I’m confident the north-east public will turn out in numbers to support the riders, giving the excellent backing that was such a feature of the Tour Series events in recent years.
“This is another important milestone in the Aberdeen 365 event strategy, which not only enhances the cultural and sporting offering for the residents we serve but importantly to attract visitors from far and near as we diversify the regional economy through investment in tourism. The Tour of Britain will provide significant economic benefits to a wide range of sectors, from accommodation and hospitality through to retail through the increased footfall that will be generated.”
Cllr Jim Gifford, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We welcome the support from committees of both authorities in our bid to bring this professional race to the region, along with all the benefits that hosting this exciting event brings. Not only would being Tour of Britain host be a significant coup on an economic level, it provides a fantastic platform to showcase Aberdeenshire as a must-see tourist destination as well as important health and well-being benefits.
“We are well versed in working collaboratively across Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City and this is one of many examples of what can be achieved through partnership working. I look forward to welcoming another world-class event to our doorsteps.”
The proposals agreed by councillors underlined the economic benefits as well as the positive health and social impacts of hosting the Tour of Britain.