PERSHORE’S MP Harriett Baldwin hopes a major British cycling event will provide a huge boost to the town’s economy.
Speaking after the route the Tour of Britain will take when it comes to the county in September was revealed, Mrs Baldwin said she would meet tourism chiefs to ensure the town would make the most of the opportunity.
The gruelling 182.5 kilometre stage four of the cycling event will start from The Hive in Worcester at 10.30am on Wednesday, September 10.
From there the 18 teams will leave the city via St John’s and move through Rushwick, Great Malvern, tackling the climb of Wyche Cutting before descending via Little Malvern and heading east to Upton upon Severn before heading through Pershore.
The stage will then join the A44 east towards Twyford, turning south on the B4624 into Evesham and then onto Broadway
down the village’s historic High Street.
Mrs Baldwin welcomed the news, the first time the tour has visited Worcestershire since 2008.
“It is great news that the Tour will again visit this beautiful area and I am sure local cycling fans will love to see that the popular ascent to the Wyche Cutting is part of this year’s route.
“The coverage of the race is seen on television all over the world so I am sure the whole event will be a wonderful advert for our picturesque rural county.
“I will be meeting with local tourism bodies to see what we can do to make the most of this opportunity and helping our valuable tourism industry to benefit as best as possible.” she added.
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership executive chairman, Peter Pawsey, said it would have a tremendous impact on the county’s economy.
“The Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest free to attend live sporting event.” he said.
“It attracts widespread media attention and as such is the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of Worcestershire as a tourist destination.
“Research has shown that hosting a stage start will bring at least a seven-fold return on investment to Worcestershire in terms of economic impact of the race.”
Worcester has twice before hosted the modern Tour of Britain, in 2007 and 2008, when stages of the race started from the city before heading to Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent.
Mark Leyland, technical manager at Sweetspot, which is organising The Tour of Britain, added: “We are delighted to return to Worcestershire for the first time in six years and have selected a route that will showcase Worcester, as well as the
county’s towns and districts.
“As in previous years the early climb of the Malvern Hills will attract a lot of specttors, as will the city centre start, which will enable fans to see the world’s top teams and riders preparing for the stage.”