The Tour de France organisers have underestimated the potential cost of hosting the July event by £2.3m. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, a report prepared by Leeds City council and the TDF 2014 Hub – a consortium of contributing partners – estimated the cost of marshalling, managing and organising the Tour stages 1 and 2 would cost £4.5m – 2.3m more than originally estimated.
The cost has risen to pay for extra transport in the rural locations, first aid, signage and temporary toilets for the millions of visitors expected to flock to the county. The report says the organisers “did not understand the scope of the event.”
And now the consortium of organisers have to find the shortfall less than four months before the festival kicks off in Leeds on July 5.
Hosting all three legs of the Tour de France – including stage 2 from York to Sheffield and stage 3 from Cambridge to London – has a budget of £27m and is overseen by the TDF Hub 2014, a consortium of contributing local authorities, central government and partners such as sport England.
The BBC has reported that TDF Hub 2014 boss, Sir Rodney Walker, would "absolutely guarantee" the costing of hosting the race in rural Yorkshire would not hit the worst case scenario figure of £4.5m.
"We're confident we're going to deliver not only the largest event Yorkshire has ever staged, but we're going to deliver it on budget," he said.
In March last year, the government awarded a £10m grant to Yorkshire to host the event amid controversy that little thought had been given to the organisation and execution of the third UK stage of the event from Cambridge to London.