PROMOTERS hope the first road cycle race to be held in a North-East town will provide a much needed financial boost.

The Bishop Auckland Cycle Race will take place next week on an 850m closed road-circuit in Fore Bondgate, Finkle Street, North Bondgate and the Market Place.

Youth, amateur and professional cyclists will be involved in the event on Wednesday, August 6.

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It has been arranged by Velo29 Events, a Middlesbrough-based cycling organisation, and has the backing of Durham County Council and Bishop Auckland Town Council.

Councillor Colin Race, mayor of Bishop Auckland, said: “We hope it’s a big success and that it helps to put the town onto the map.

“We thought let’s give it a go and it’ll help promote Bishop Auckland. Hopefully it’ll help to increase footfall through the town to provide an economic boost.”

Councillor Sam Zair, who covers Bishop Auckland for the county council, contributed £2,650 from his neighbourhood budget and the town council £5,000 to the cost of staging the race.

Coun Zair said: “The important thing is that we get lots of people in to the town to enjoy the event and to see what Bishop Auckland has to offer.

“The plan is to have the cycle race here for three years.”

Richard Williamson, of Velo29 Events, said: “We were looking to extend the number of events that we run and we got a lot of support from Bishop Auckland.”

Six to 16-year-olds race between 5.30pm and 6.15pm, amateurs from 6.45pm to 7.45pm and the professionals from 8pm to 9.15pm.

Cyclists should register at in advance but entries will be taken on the day if there are places.