THOUSANDS of pounds is being made available to Richmondshire communities along the Tour de Yorkshire route to celebrate its return.

The iconic race will pass through the region in May and this week councillors agreed to release a £15,000 cash pot at a meeting of Richmondshire District Council’s Corporate Board.

The money is intended to help communities to stage local events to celebrate the race coming through the district and Richmond town will receive £5,000 of the pot.

The remaining £10,000 will be made available for other towns and villages on the route, with a £2,000 limit for each application.

Council Leader, Councillor Yvonne Peacock, said: “We were delighted when Welcome to Yorkshire awarded us a start for this year’s race.

“It is a huge honour for the district to play host to such a prestigious event – and not only do we play host to the riders on May 5, but we are also lucky enough to see them in the district on May 6.

“We will have the world’s cameras on us in May and we intend to make the best use of it - we want to stimulate as much positive attention as possible on our district as a place to visit.

“We know other host venues have seen a positive impact on their local economy in past years – and we aim to capitalise on our Tour in Richmondshire.”

The District Council is footing the estimated £221,750 bill of bringing the cycle race to the district.

That includes the £100,000 fee and other associated costs, such as barriers and stewarding.

An event management company has also been appointed to focus on delivery of the race start and provide council officers with additional support.

The section of the race coming to the Richmondshire area starts in Richmond town on May 5 and travels through Catterick and Leyburn before heading to a finish in Scarborough.

Riders will come back into the district the following day – May 6 – when they cycle race through Middleham and East Witton as part of the Halifax to Leeds route.

Overall the event will last four days, starting on May 3 from Beverley in East Yorkshire, down to Doncaster in the south.

Stage two travels from Barnsley to Ilkley, followed by the Richmond to Scarborough route.

It finishes with a 189km route from Halifax heading north before looping back down to Leeds.