Creative ideas plea for race

Bradley Wiggins leads the Tour De France through Paris last year
Bradley Wiggins leads the Tour De France through Paris last year
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Sheffield is receiving a share of £1 million for a Yorkshire-wide arts and cultural festival as the Tour de France’s Grand Départ passes through.

Tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire is now seeking ideas from members of the public about what displays could be organised.

Starting at the end of March, the festival aims to ‘showcase Yorkshire as a creative county’ in the 100 days before the start of the Tour de France 2014.

The Grand Départ is due to pass through Sheffield on July 6 next year.

The £1 million has been granted by the Arts Council and Welcome to Yorkshire is hoping to find additional funds so it has a £2 million budget in total.

Announcing the festival, Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It will be a fantastic opportunity to put Yorkshire on the map before riders arrive.”

News of the festival was hailed as ‘superb’ by Mick Nott, chairman of campaign group Cycle Sheffield.

Mr Nott said: “I think the idea of having an arts and cultural festival is superb and will give a real boost to areas like Sheffield which are on the route.

“There’s the opportunity to be really creative.

“We could have screens on parts of the route showing images of past tours in the days before it arrives, or children could design racing jerseys.

“There are already events being talked about in Sheffield such as talks and film shows.”

Fellow cycling enthusiast Russell Cutts, from Norwood, who runs a bike repair business, said: “There will be billions of people watching the race and loads of people from around the world in the area in the run-up to the tour getting under way.

“The plan is a great opportunity for Sheffield to show itself off in terms of creativity.”

Visit http://letour.yorkshire.com/artsfestival to register suggestions for the arts and cultural festival.