SKIPTON as a host town for next year’s rescheduled Tour de Yorkshire will be reviewed by Craven councillors next week.

A report to Tuesday’s Policy Committee of Craven District Council recommends that the town is put forward as one of the eight towns to either host a start or finish of the four day cycle event, which is due to take place in late April and early May.

Councillors - some of who have been reluctant in the past to support the event - will also consider a request from Welcome to Yorkshire to underwrite it by up to £100,000.

The request to all host towns says the tourism group will give it time to get sponsorship and give the organising body, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) , organisers of the Tour de France, the assurance it needs to guarantee the event can go ahead.

The event, which is said to attract a global audience of millions, was last held in 2019. Welcome to Yorkshire, is also planning a week long ‘festival of Yorkshire’ to take place across the county at the same time as the cycle race, which will include races for both men and women.

Welcome to Yorkshire says the festival will be the first and largest non-ticketed mass anticipation event of its kind in the UK since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Councillors at next week’s meeting will be told that both the event and underwriting costs can be delivered from already allocated budgets. It is proposed to use the remaining budget of £173,575 initially approved in 2019, and £125,000 set aside from the allocated North and West Yorkshire Business Rates Pool from 2019/20. It is also proposed to use funding originally committed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, on the understanding the race route takes in large parts of the Dales.

Leader of Craven District Council Councillor Richard Foster said while Craven was currently experiencing an increase in tourism, helping businesses recover from the last year, the district needed to plan ahead.

“ One of the main long term benefits of being involved in this race is the extensive TV coverage and pre -race publicity which showcases and promotes the local area.

“We’re seeing a boom in domestic tourism now that is helping to compensate for the lack of overseas visitors this year, but we must look long term.

“Given this is likely to be one of the first mass non ticketed next year there is likely to be a lot of interest especially with the accompanying Yorkshire wide festival. The event will be a fantastic marketing opportunity especially for the newly refurbished Skipton Town Hall and we can also use it as an opportunity in bringing our communities back together again.”

Critics of the Tour de Yorkshire say it causes travel disruption and question its marketing value.