The head of tourism has warned that the Tour de Yorkshire “ almost certainly ” will not return if the 2022 event is canceled. Yorkshire News

The 2022 Tour de Yorkshire has been canceled and there are fears that the race will not return

Welcome to Yorkshire CEO James Mason wrote to the CEOs of nine councils and told them that the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) organizers could pull out if they did not each offer £ 100,000 of funding and agree to provide another £ 100,000 to cover. a possible shortfall in sponsorship before June 23.

In a series of emails obtained by The Yorkshire Post, he also admitted that the event “had not attracted the commercial sponsors that all parties were hoping to achieve” in recent years and said that it “has had trouble attracting a title sponsor.”

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He said ASO asked for a guarantee “to minimize the risk of financial loss for them” and while Welcome to Yorkshire has subsidized the race in recent years, “it is not in a position to do it again.”

Welcome to Yorkshire CEO James Mason

Six councils that run the Yorkshire regions that were supposed to host the race, which was postponed by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, agreed to financially support the 2022 event and provide an additional £ 100,000 to cover sponsorship losses. But the councils of Leeds, Calderdale and Kirklees had not made the same offer.

Welcome to Yorkshire is required to support the race through 2024, under the terms of a 10-year contract, and Mason said that while the tourism board supports the “fantastic event,” it has turned into a “financial loss.”

In an email, he wrote: “The current WTY (Welcome to Yorkshire) has inherited this and while we fully support the race and it is a fantastic event that brings a great deal of civic pride and economic activity to the region, it has never generated a profit for WTY, and indeed it could be argued that the organization’s financial loss has created some of our challenges in recent years, as the organization has had to invest large portions of its operating budget to cover the shortfall. We can no longer afford to do this. “

He added: “What we will put into the race is a lot of staff time, marketing assurance plus hiring additional staff to run the race, so we could quantify this as hundreds of thousands of pounds of value that we could. attribute or divert to other projects in other places if the race does not advance. “

Former CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire, key to bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire and establishing the Tour de Yorkshire

After discussions with council heads in June, he emailed North Yorkshire County Council Executive Director Richard Flinton on June 16 and said the race would not go ahead if the local authority did not commit to provide financial support and underwrite sponsorship losses within seven days.

He wrote: “The cancellation of the 2022 race would almost certainly mean the end of the Tour de Yorkshire and any possibility of a return from the Tour de France Grand Depart to Yorkshire within the next 10 years.

“Our request is that you consider the position we face, the broader economic and social value and benefits that the Tour de Yorkshire brings to the county and the impact that the Tour de Yorkshire and associated events will have in supporting the economic recovery of the region. . “

In a joint announcement Tuesday night, ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire said the 2022 race is unviable due to “increasing financial challenges and uncertainties” and “the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Independent sources have separately told The Yorkshire Post that a factor in the cancellation decision was a recent request from ASO, which also organizes the Tour de France, for more funding.

No public money for the event had been given to Welcome to Yorkshire as payments are only due when the 2022 race is confirmed.

A Welcome to Yorkshire spokeswoman said: “When James Mason wrote to the North Yorkshire County Council Executive Director on June 16, that was the position Welcome To Yorkshire believed we were in regarding the future of the Tour de Yorkshire.

“The response from our local authority partners throughout these discussions has always been positive and supportive in bringing the race to Yorkshire in 2022, but given the financial challenges of organizing the race, coupled with the continued impact of the pandemic. , we were forced to make the decision not to go ahead with the race next year.

“However, these are detailed negotiations involving various partners and we are currently in discussions with Amaury Sport Organization about the future of the race.”

Welcome to Yorkshire has been trying to rebuild its reputation since Sir Gary Verity resigned as CEO in March 2019 amid allegations about his behavior and use of expenses.

He was key in bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire and establishing the Tour de Yorkshire.

ASO has been contacted for comment.

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This notice was published: 2021-09-02 05:41:22

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