Tour of Britain
Tour of Britain

Plans are being put in place to ensure Southwell can capitalise on being included on the Tour of Britain route.

Some of the world’s top cyclists will race through the town on Wednesday, September 6, during stage four of the race from Mansfield to Newark.

It will be broadcast live on ITV4 and town councillors are hoping the exposure it bring will provide a boost to Southwell’s economy.

All the elite cycling teams, including Sky, Astana and Movistar, are expected to take part.

Town councillors agreed at their last planning committee meeting that they needed to maximise the tourism potential and community engagement with the event and needed to prepare for it.

Mrs Lyn Harris set up a working party to work on ways the Tour of Britain could be used to promote the town.

Mr Peter Harris, also a town councillor, said: “The cyclists will be coming through Southwell at 40 to 50mph and we are hoping there will be a good crowd there to watch them.

“There will be live aerial coverage of the race and they will focus on some of interesting architecture along the route such as the minster and the Workhouse.

“You can see what happens to some of the smaller towns involved in the Tour de Yorkshire.

“A lot of the smaller towns really make a good effort to involve the community and we are looking to see if we could do a similar effort on behalf of Southwell.”

'An opportunity not to be missed'

Mr Harris said he was hoping Southwell could capitalise on the Tour of Britain in the same way Conisbrough, near Doncaster, capitalised on the Tour de Yorkshire last year.

Mr Harris said: “Their tourism board got involved, they were expecting lots of visitors and they had lots of visitors.

“Many people dressed their houses and gates and decorated buildings along the route.

“We are hoping a lot of the businesses will chip in with ideas — it might be a window design competition or hanging out bunting.

“Conisbrough put in a really good effort and it is a similar size to Southwell.”

Mr Harris said Southwell had to capitalise on the tour.

He said: “There are cycling fans in the town who regularly go to the Tour of Britain, the Tour de France and the Tour de Yorkshire and we will be involving them as well as Southwell Tourism Partnership, the business club and the retailers.

“It is an opportunity not to be missed because there will be plenty of coverage and there will be people coming to watch the race from across the region.

“Competitive cycling has seen a huge increase in popularity because of the success of the British racing teams and the involvement of Sky as a major international team.

“We have got to make an effort as a town to capitalise on it otherwise they will just cycle through.

“What we have got to do is make the best of it, not just for now, but make people think: ‘That’s an interesting place and I’ll go and visit’.

“Bear in mind some places in France and Italy pay good money for a place in their tours.”