Thursday, 3 July 2014

Tour de France director “thrilled” by Leeds’ preparation for The Grand Départ

Caption: Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme addresses the council chamber this week.

The director of the Tour de France has praised the people of Leeds as the city gears up for this weekend’s Grand Départ.

Addressing a meeting of Leeds City Council’s full council this week, Christian Prudhomme, director of Le Tour said he was “thrilled” after seeing first-hand all the city had done to welcome the world’s biggest cycle race.

Mr Prudhomme told members: “This morning I had a short walk in the streets of the city. I saw a giant banner ‘Leeds welcomes the Tour de France’ on the Town Hall.

“I saw many bicycles painted yellow. Even on the big crane just next to the building, 20 or 30 metres high!

“I am really impressed and thrilled what you’ve done for us and for The Tour. I want to thank you all, for the trust you have in us, for the trust you have in The Tour.”

Preparations for Saturday’s Grand Départ have seen the council work alongside local groups and businesses, who have all done their bit to decorate the city.

Leeds’ efforts have included banners, bunting, Tour de France-themed flowerbeds, and city centre statues wearing specially-made yellow jerseys.

Music and dance performances, theatre and cinema productions, art and museum exhibitions, food and drink festivals, bike races and shows, a pre-race parade featuring The Tour riders themselves, the Opening Ceremony Team Presentation and even a carnival have also been taking place in Leeds this week.

Mr Prudhomme also hailed Leeds’ pledge to create a cycling legacy following The Tour as well as recognising the city’s passion for the sport.

He said: “I want to thank you for writing that bringing the Tour de France to Leeds will provide the catalyst we need to move to the next stage of cycling in the city.

“I think it is true. I read everywhere in the street that “cycling starts here”- you’re right."

He added: "The grass roots of road cycling are here.

“You have all the venues we need for The Tour. You have an outstanding landscape and more than that you have passion, passion for cycling and love for The Tour.”

Saturday morning’s events on the route will begin at approximately 8.30am when a group of cadet riders are followed by the Tour’s famous publicity caravan made up of more than 180 vehicles.

At 11.10am, the riders will leave the start line outside Leeds Art Gallery, beginning the ceremonial roll-out down The Headrow before joining the A61 and heading to Harewood House.

Mr Prudhomme added: “I had dreams about the Grand Départ in Yorkshire. I feel it will be even bigger.

“You are proud to be from Leeds you are proud to be from Yorkshire.

“I believe that in three days, in four days, in five days in the future you will be even prouder to be from Leeds, you will be even prouder to be from Yorkshire and if it’s thanks to the Tour de France I will be very happy.”

To watch a video of Mr Prudhomme’s speech to full council, visit:

For the latest news on the Grand Départ visit


Issued by:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

Reminder of changes to Saturday bin collections affected by Tour de France

There are some changes to Saturday bin collections to accommodate the Tour de France.

If you live in Adel and Wharfedale, Alwoodley, Calverley and Farsley, Chapel Allerton, Crossgates and Whinmoor, Guiseley and Rawdon, Harewood, Headingley, Horsforth, Killingbeck and Seacroft, Moortown, Otley and Yeadon, or Weetwood and your normal bin day is Saturday, this may be rearranged to either Friday 4 or Sunday 6 July instead.

Affected residents have received a letter confirming if their bin will be emptied on Friday or Sunday.

As well as homes along the Tour de France route itself, others in the vicinity of the route will be affected as bin wagons won’t be able to get around as usual due to road closures.

Residents in these areas are being asked to make sure their bins aren’t left out on Saturday 5 July.

Saturday scheduled bin collections across the rest of the city will go ahead as normal, although some levels of disruption are expected.

To help bin crews, residents across the rest of the city are being asked to have their bins out by 6am on Saturday 5 July or on Friday night.

Recycling centres will be open as normal.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Grand Départ place marker for Headrow

(Picture caption) the place marker on The Headrow with Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, Cllr Keith Wakefield and creator Gareth Preston

A place marker has been added to the pavement next to the start line of the Tour de France Grand Départ commemorating the great occasion.

The place marker will remain on the footpath of The Headrow outside Victoria Gardens and is expected to last for around 10 years.

It is emblazoned with the Tour de France logo and the date for the world’s largest cycling event.


For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Find out more about Leeds on a new heritage trail

Caption: The industrial heritage of Leeds will form part of a new visitor trail.

Visitors taking in the delights of Leeds as part of the Tour de France this week will also have the opportunity to discover more about the city in a fantastic new heritage trail.

In what promises to be an exciting experience, people will be able to learn as part of the Leeds Industrial Trail, more about a host of impressive city buildings. These will include the imposing Leeds Town Hall and the Corn Exchange, along with cultural and famous attractions such as Leeds City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds Central Library, Leeds Grand Theatre and the City Varieties Music Hall. Also showcased as part of the trail, will be the industrialists, architects, philanthropists and engineers who left an indelible mark on the fabric of the city from the 12th to the 19th century.

Leeds was one of the United Kingdom’s industrial powerhouses in the Victorian era, and the story of the beginnings of the wool trade at Kirkstall Abbey, water power at Thwaite Mills Watermill and the importance of the railways and waterways network will be revealed. The splendour of iconic locations such as the Leeds Bridge and Leeds Kirkgate Market are also included on the map, and as Tour de France excitement reaches fever pitch, why not cycle along the tow path of the canal from the beginning of the trail at Kirkstall Abbey to see the watermill at Thwaite Mills.

The Industrial Heritage trail is the latest of a series of ‘Walkit’ trails and maps developed by Leeds City Council. The series includes the official map of Leeds city centre, the M&S Heritage trail, the Potts Clocks trail, and many more. The Walkit initiative is designed to encourage people to walk in and around Leeds city centre and it also includes a network of on-street signs.

Launched this week, a copy of the trail can be picked up at the following locations: The Visitor Centre, Armley Mills, Thwaite Mills, Abbey House, the central library and city museum, and Kirkgate Market. A Leeds Heritage Trail phone app can also be downloaded a

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"With many visitors arriving in Leeds this week for the start of the Grand Départ, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to launch a new heritage trail celebrating the fantastic history of our city and those people who helped make it what it is today.

"There really is to plenty to see and do and we are delighted to say that not only are copies of the heritage trail available at many locations across the city, there is also the chance to download a new app which also details all of the information."

For media queries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578