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School children meet Tour of Britain mascot

Children with the Tour of Britain mascot Credit: Cumbria County Council

The end of the summer term is always special for school children and ToBi, the official mascot of the Aviva Tour of Britain, helped make it even more magical for two primary schools in Cumbria this week.

Yanwath School near Penrith and All Saints Primary School in Cockermouth are both on the route of the two Cumbrian stages of the big race in September.

ToBi visited the schools to encourage any last-minute entries in the ‘Design the starting flag’ and ‘Design the winner’s jersey’ school competitions, which closes for entrants on the last day of the school term.

The two local sponsors of the competitions, Cockermouth-based automotive engineering business M-Sport and United Utilities were also at the schools to mark their backing of the big race. Both M-Sport (starting flag) and United Utilities (winner’s jersey) will be involved in the judging, with the winners announced at the end of the summer holidays.

The two companies say backing the Cumbrian stages of the UK’s largest free sporting event is an important symbol of their support for the local community, as they recognise the economic and longer-term benefits the Aviva Tour of Britain brings to the county.

Standing from left to right next to the M-Sport rally car behind the seated children from All Saints Primary, Cockermouth are Mr Stretch (Active Cumbria performer), ToBi (Tour of Britain mascot) and John Hilton, Project Director from United Utilities Credit: Cumbria County Council

“Cockermouth will have never seen anything like the start of the Tour before and we’re excited to be getting behind the race. For me, there is no bigger adrenaline rush than being behind the wheel of a world rally car, and I’m sure it’s something similar for the cyclists at the start line of the Tour of Britain.

"I’d like to see the flag competition entries come up with a design that captures all of the excitement, energy and glory that comes with competing at the top level of your chosen sport.”

– Malcolm Wilson, former World Championship rally driver


Eden businesses urged to make most of Tour of Britain boost

Credit: Eden District Council

Businesses in Eden are being encouraged to take advantage of the Tour of Britain coming to the area on 10 September with the help of an online business toolkit available via

The toolkit has been produced by the Economic Development and Tourism teams at Eden District Council and contains practical advice about how different business sectors from accommodation providers to shops can benefit from the Tour.

It has information about:

  • How businesses can benefit
  • Practical information
  • Sponsorship and branding
  • Promoting Eden
  • Becoming cycle-friendly
  • Using special offers to add value
  • Joining in the story online via social media

"The ToB coming to Eden is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase their services and products. The ToB gives a shop window to a worldwide audience via TV and will bring many spectators to the area for the Cumbria stages.

“We have seen in Carlisle and Kendal the economic benefits the race brought in 2013 and I encourage local businesses to maximise this opportunity. The Business Toolkit we have developed contains loads of practical advice; including how your company can become cycle-friendly, promote special offers and encourage your staff to get involved. So visit the Invest in Eden website to find out more and to see our other business support services.”

– Cllr David Hymers, Eden District Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Holder

To download a copy of the Eden ToB Business Toolkit visit:

Borders routes for Tour of Britain launched

Credit: ITV Border

Further details of the Scottish stages of this year’s Tour of Britain have been confirmed today with British Cycling’s premier road cycling event set for a spectacular route through the Scottish Borders on two consecutive days in September.

Scottish professional cyclist Evan Oliphant of Team Raleigh GAC joined members of Kelso Wheelers Cycling Club at Floors Castle to unveil the route details.

On Tuesday 8 September, Floors Castle in Kelso, the home of the Duke of Roxburghe, will host the Stage Three finish. It will be the fourth visit for the modern Tour of Britain to the Scottish Borders, but the first time that the area has hosted a stage finish.

Stage Three in Scotland will begin south of the border in Cockermouth, Cumbria, crossing into Scotland at Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway. The route then passes through Newcastleton, where there will be an intermediate YodelDirect Sprint, sponsored by parcel delivery company Yodel.

The first SKODA King of the Mountains climb will come on the B6357 in Wauchope Forest, with a second following soon afterwards on the A7 outside Hawick.

The route then takes in Selkirk and Tweedbank before the third and final SKODA King of the Mountains climb takes the riders from Melrose to Bowden Moor. Stage Three then descends down to St Boswells for the run in to Kelso along the A699.

Crossing the River Tweed and past the remains of Kelso Abbey, riders will tackle a short section of cobbles through The Square inside the final kilometre before the finish in the grounds of Floors Castle.

“The Scottish Borders is Scotland’s leading cycling destination, and it is therefore fitting that the Aviva Tour of Britain visits our area on two consecutive days this year, including the sensational spectacle of some of the world’s top cyclists racing over Kelso’s cobbles and into the grounds of Floors Castle for our first ever stage finish.

“The Tour arrives in our area just days after the first commercial services run on the Borders Railway and this will enable more visitors than ever to come and see this world class event.

“Research carried out after Peebles hosted the Tour of Britain Grand Depart in 2013 revealed that the event led a net total expenditure of over £365,000 in the town. We hope that with having the stage finish this could potentially be even higher in Kelso and we are engaging with local businesses to make sure that embrace this wonderful opportunity.”

– Cllr Stuart Bell, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development

Funding available to celebrate Tour of Britain

The women's Tour of Britain took place earlier in the year. Credit: PA

A funding pot of £5,000 is available to communities in Eden who are organising celebrations for the Tour of Britain.

The funding will be available through Eden District Council's Community Fund, and the idea is for it to help local people to celebrate the cycle race, which will pass through the area.

Cycle races like the ToB can engage crowds, bring together communities and create huge economic benefits for an area.

ToB will showcase Eden to a national and international audience and we are sure that our local communities will celebrate the race passing through in style.

The Council has allocated £5,000 from the Eden Community Fund to support ToB community events and activities.

There is up to £500 per parish available, so we would encourage groups within a parish to work together and we look forward to receiving applications from communities across the district.”

– Councillor Mike Slee, Eden District Council

The application form, and details of how to apply for funding, are available on the Council's website.


Businesses set to meet over Tour of Britain

The last time the cycle race was in Cumbria was in 2013 Credit: ITV Border

Business across the region are being encouraged to take advantage of the Tour of Britain, which is here for three days in September.

Last time the cycle race was in Cumbria, in 2013, it brought more than £4 million to the local economy.

A meeting of Allerdale businesses will be held in Cockermouth next week to discuss the possible spin offs.

Dumfries and Galloway to host Tour of Britain

The Tour of Britain in 2013 Credit: ITV Border

Dumfries and Galloway council says it has secured a "high profile" stage of next years Tour of Britain cycle race.

No details of exact locations and dates have yet been released.

The race, Britain's best attended outdoor sporting event, last came to Dumfries and Galloway in 2013 and was hailed a great success, despite bad weather affecting spectator numbers.

"Members of the Policy and Resources Committee are being asked to approve funding allocations for the Major Events Strategy at committee next week. One of the recommendations is funding to host the Tour of Britain.

The detailed work with the Tour is required to remain confidential at this stage however we can confirm that the region will host a high profile stage of the Tour 2016. If funding is agreed, discussions will continue with the Tour to identify the best regional locations for the route".

– Spokesperson, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Tour of Britain brings over £4million to Cumbria

The Cumbrian stage of the Tour of Britain brought £4.1million to the region.

An estimated 70,000 people lined the route to watch the world-class cyclists race, with 61 per cent coming from outside the region.

The first county-only stage of the tour began in September, running from Carlisle to Kendal. It included the gruelling king of the mountains stage at Honister.

The figure is almost double the £2.37million raised by the tour in 2012.

The findings were pulled together by economic experts Frontline for event organisers Sweetspot.

Tour of Britain wins 'Best Sporting Event' Award

Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, presents Angel-Clare Grant and Alastair Grant the award with host Lorraine Kelly Credit: The Tour of Britain

The Jedburgh to Dumfries leg of the 2012 Tour of Britain has won an award for the 'Best Sporting Event' at the Scottish Thistle Awards.

The awards ceremony, organised by VisitScotland, recognises the exceptional efforts made by companies and individuals across the industry, including accommodation providers, visitor attractions, tour operators, food and drink establishments and event organisers.

It was hosted by Lorraine Kelly on 15 November at Stirling Castle.

Alastair Grant, Commercial Director of SweetSpot Group, who organised and promoted the Tour of Britain, said:

"The Tour of Britain has been visiting Scotland and Dumfries & Galloway for a number of years with the event continuing to grow in stature and popularity, so are very proud to accept this award in recognition of our efforts."

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