The Tour de France may be streamlining its way to Edinburgh, after The City of Edinburgh Council backed an audacious attempt to bring the event to Scotland for the first time.
Councillors approved a report outlining the commitments required in the event of a successful bid in a meeting today.
Heralded as the world’s largest annual sporting event, the Tour de France could bring £45-55m of revenue for the national economy, with Edinburgh benefiting to the tune of £24m.
Edinburgh Castle is the proposed venue for the Presentation of the Riders, with displays, cycle shows, stalls competition and a raft of cultural activities being held across the city throughout the duration.
A ‘non-race’ mode procession of the cyclists running through the city centre would precede the start of the race, which would be held elsewhere in the city, with riders racing down the spine of the UK through Scotland, England and Wales.
The event attracts global interest with no less than 100 TV channels, 400 newspapers and press agencies and 70 websites over 190 countries offering live coverage of last year’s event.
Councillor Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh Council’s Festivals & Events Champion, said: “I can think of no more dramatic backdrop than Edinburgh Castle and our historic Old Town and, of course, our residents are well used to laying on a fantastic welcome to the many millions of visitors that travel to the city each year.
“Of course, Edinburgh is no stranger to cycling success, thanks to the incredible achievements of Sir Chris Hoy, and we are already seeing the impact this is having on participation – a trend that would surely continue following a successful Grant Depart.”
The bid, led by EventScotland, has the support of the Scottish Government, British Cycling, UK Sport, the Welsh Government, plus numerous other English and Welsh authorities.
While the date has not yet been announced, it is likely to be in the next five years and could even be as soon as 2014.