YORKSHIRE will be advertised to an audience of millions after the county signed a Pact of Friendship with the Dordogne region in France.

The signing will be marked by the displaying of a giant piece of Land Art on the 11th stage of the Tour de France.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, signed the pact on behalf of the county at an official ceremony on Tuesday evening and Welcome to Yorkshire will mark the occasion by exhibiting a 1,386m2 yellow ‘Y’ close to Wednesday’s stage start in Emyet.

Images of the ‘Y’ - which forms part of the word Emyet - should be visible as the peloton passes by and beamed to 190 countries around the world. Welcome to Yorkshire has also joined forces with the General Council of Dordogne to transform the region into a little corner of Yorkshire by distributing 4,000 Yorkshire flags in the area over two days of action.

The Pact of Friendship has been formed to honour the fact both regions are keen supporters of the Tour de France and that both are regarded as two of Europe’s leading cycling destinations.

Cllr Parnaby was joined at the ceremony by representatives from Welcome to Yorkshire and Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme.

A hamper from Bettys was presented as well as a Yorkshire Terrier teddy and commemorative ‘Yorkshire Loves Dordogne’ flag.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: “I am proud and honoured that Yorkshire has formed a Pact of Friendship with Dordogne. One fifth of Dordogne’s population is British and I know many people who live in the region also come from Yorkshire, so it was hugely important for us to extend our hand of friendship and develop this wonderful partnership.

“This is the start of a great friendship between our two regions.”

Welcome to Yorkshire said it remained confident of hosting the Tour de France again in the future.

Christian Prudhomme described the last visit in 2014 as ‘The Grandest of Grand Départs’ and the subsequent Tour de Yorkshire has grown to become one of the biggest and best supported races in the sport.

The world’s best riders will also be descending on the county in 2019 when Yorkshire hosts the UCI Road World Championships.