THE Government has announced its support for Yorkshire’s staging of the Tour de France’s Grand Depart next year.

After ministers were briefed about the opening stages of the world’s biggest single sporting event at a Cabinet meeting in Leeds yesterday, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said she was keen to ensure the race left a lasting legacy.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, was invited by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP to brief ministers about how Le Tour was secured for the county and how Government departments could help in the next 18 months.

Loading article content

Mr Verity then held talks with Mrs Miller to discuss legacy schemes, such as ensuring all children in Yorkshire will have access to a bike and training following the event.

He said: “Being asked to brief the Cabinet about the Tour de France shows how seriously this Government is taking the Grand Départ.

“This is undoubtedly a moment for the whole country not just Yorkshire to celebrate and today’s positive discussions and feedback from the Cabinet show we are now moving in the right direction. “

A Government spokesman said the hosting of the Tour de France would help cement the legacy of London 2012.

He said: “It’s great that Yorkshire will host the Grand Depart of the biggest road race in the world next year.

“Cycling is in fantastic shape in Britain, both at the elite end and in grassroots participation, and the Tour coming to these shores will help grow the sport further.”