The City of Edinburgh Council is set to back an ambitious bid to bring the Tour de France to Scotland for the first time.
Councillors will be asked to approve a report at their meeting next Thursday, 13 December, which sets out the commitments required from the Council, a significant proportion of which would be in kind, should the UK bid be successful.
Attracting the world’s largest annual sporting event would be worth £45-55m to the national economy, with over £24m spend expected in Edinburgh.
Under the proposals, Edinburgh Castle would host the Presentation of the Riders, followed by a full day of cycling and complementary activity on the eve of the Grand Depart. This may include displays, cycle shows, stalls, competitions and other cultural activities.
The riders would tour the city centre in ‘non-race’ mode before making their way slowly to the racing start elsewhere in the city. They would then race down the spine of the UK – through southern Scotland, England and Wales – creating unprecedented spectator opportunities to view the race.
The 2011 event was covered by 100 TV channels, 70 radio channels, 400 newspapers and press agencies, and 70 websites. It was broadcast in 190 countries of which 60 showed live coverage.
The bid is being led by EventScotland with the support of the Scottish Government, British Cycling, UK Sport, the Welsh Government, plus several English and Welsh local authorities.
The date has not been confirmed but is likely to be in the next five years, with the potential for it to be as soon as 2014. It is hoped that a successful event would lead to greater participation in cycling by Edinburgh residents, supporting the Council’s Active Travel Action Plan.