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Spectator hub in Skipton revealed as Tour signs are put up
With fewer than 100 days to go before the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, Skipton has been announced as an official spectator hub.
Grassington has also been selected, with plans for a massive screen showing all the live action to be placed outside the national park centre.
Thousands of people are expected to head into Craven during Grand Depart weekend in July, and now the eyes of the world will be more than ever focused on the area.
“Being an official spectator hub will greatly help to raise the profile of Skipton and Craven even further,” said Craven District councillor Simon Myers.
“Skipton will be included in all the official Tour de France promotional guides, which means the eyes of the world will be upon us.”
It had been planned to have a stage and live screen on the High Street, but that will now be moved to the Town Hall car park.
More spectators will be able to line the High Street and an additional screen with entertainment will be centred on the Canal Basin.
With planning now in earnest for the world’s largest sporting event as it passes through the area, Craven District Council has appointed the same professional event organisers for Skipton as North Yorkshire County Council has for the whole county.
Pennine Events, which will look after crowd, safety and management will work with the county, district and town councils, has roots in Barnoldswick and carried out a similar role in Kent the last time the Tour came to the UK in 2007.
Signs marking the route have been placed by the county council on the High Street and also on Grassington Road as part of its marking of the two stages of the race across the county.
In Grassington, the national park plans to have a screen outside its office, alongwith its other offices at Hawes and Aysgarth Falls, where people will be able to watch all the action.
“As well as watching the race go by, a lot of people will want to see how the rest of the stage unfolds, said park authority chairman, Peter Charlesworth.
“For that reason we have organised for the screens to be set up at our dedicated hubs to provide coverage for the whole day.”
So far, the park authority has given out more than £12,000 in grants to parish councils to help towards the cost of tour-related events.
The Tour will also coincide with the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
“We are expecting around 400,000 people in the national park for the event and we are working with landowners, farmers and businesses who will be opening temporary campsites and car parks to accommodate them,” said Mr Charlesworth.
The authority is also relaxing its rule on overnight parking in its car parks in the week leading up to the event.
David Butterworth, the park authority’s chief executive, added: “After months of preparation, the actual event is now coming up fast and we want to do everything we can to ensure the communities within the park make the most of this fantastic opportunity to showcase themselves and the stunning countryside they live and work in.”
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