Tour of Britain : Newark could benefit by £250,000
The Tour of Britain’s stage finish in Newark could benefit the town by around £250,000.
Elite cyclists will race past Newark Castle before finishing by Sconce and Devon Park at the completion of the tour’s 175km-fourth stage, on September 6.
The route, which begins in Mansfield, also passes through Southwell and villages including Farnsfield and Collingham. It is estimated that around 160,000 spectators will watch as the riders make their way through the county.
The stage, the only one of this year’s tour held in the Midlands, is expected to attract visitors from outside Nottinghamshire, and could benefit businesses in Newark and Sherwood.
Mr Brendan Moffett, chief executive of Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said the tour was likely to be of huge benefit to the town.
“Potentially, the race could be worth up to £250,000 to Newark,” he said.
“This is a unique opportunity for the town, with people coming from elsewhere.
“We will be in regular contact with businesses to maximise the opportunities associated with the race.”
The tour peloton will cycle past Southwell Minster during stage four. Later, any potential breakaway groups will pass through Coddington before hurtling down Beacon Hill, along Sleaford Road and Queen’s Road, and past Newark Castle prior to the finish near Sconce and Devon Park.
Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and former Tour green jersey winner Mark Cavendish have both previously ridden in the tour.
Current rider Mr Matt Cronshaw, of the Madison Genesis team, is hoping to race again in the tour this year.
The 28-year-old said: “The race has worked hard over the last 10 years to get a reputation of being a high-quality race and it attracts the biggest names in the world.
“That calibre of rider really makes it a challenge.”
The final line-up of teams and riders has yet to be announced.
Newark was selected as the stage finish as Nottingham was unavailable due to scheduling issues.
Mr Derek Higton, service director for commissioning, resource and culture at Nottinghamshire County Council, who has been liaising with tour of officials over stage four, said it was an opportunity to display the best elements of the district to visitors.
“There is nowhere better than Newark as a finish point because it’s a historical market town,” he said.
School pupils are likely to watch on as the riders pass through their towns and villages.
Miss Pippa Sifleet, of Lowe’s Wong Junior School, Southwell, said: “The pupils are absolutely bouncing. They are so excited.”
Year 6 pupil at the school, 11-year-old Jess Johnston, said: “Seeing all the bikes is a big thing in a small town.”
There will be rolling road closures on the route and static road closures in Newark.
A nine-day Festival of Cycling will be held either side of the stage, including a spinning session at Newark Sports and Fitness Centre, and a time trial for Newark Castle Cycle Club.
Mr Andy Hardy, community projects manager for Newark and Sherwood District Council, said the tour provided opportunities for the local area.
“It’s fantastic to have a professional elite sporting event in Newark,” he said.
“With the festival, we want to promote cycling as an active form of transport in the district, making people feel confident and secure when they are cycling to work.
“We want to create a legacy from this event where people cycle for personal health and the social benefits.”
Mr Hardy said the tour stage was a shop window for the district.
He said: “We want people to come to Newark and Sherwood and say ‘wow, what a great stage and what a great place — we want to come back’.
“The event is beamed to 120 countries worldwide, so it’s a great advert for the district.”
More by this authorSam Parker