THE thousands of knitted miniature jerseys that lined the route of last year’s Tour de France have been given a new use – as cosy blankets.

The idea to use mini-jerseys as bunting to welcome the Tour was originally dreamt up by students from the University of York.

Harrogate Borough Council’s Park Team, which led the project, thought they would set the needle high by asking knitters for 3,000 small jerseys to create the unique display.

However, they were overwhelmed by the response with more than 23,500 jerseys being made to decorate the district during stages one and two of the race with contributions from across the globe.

Recently a team of volunteers have been hard at work turning them into blankets as a lasting reminder of the historic Tour weekend in July.

More than 30 blankets have so far been created - now available from Oxfam’s Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon shops – and with plenty more jerseys still available the council are keen to help from anyone keen to help with the cause.

Local cabinet member Phil Ireland said: “The ‘Le Tour de Bunting’ project was a magnificent success. When we began work on it we had no idea how popular it would become - the response was completely beyond our expectations.

“It is fantastic that the jerseys will not be forgotten.”

Would-be volunteers should contact or 01423-500600 for further details.