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Swinton Estate predicts multi-million pound boost to the local Yorkshire economy as route for 2014 Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’ is announced

The route of the Grand Depart of the 101st edition of the Tour de France was today announced at the Palais de Congres in Paris and includes a four-mile route through the Swinton Estate in the Yorkshire Dales. The Grand Depart starts on July 5th 2014 and is expected to provide a major boost to the Yorkshire economy over the two days of competition. 

The route starts in front of Leeds Town Hall and ends 18 days later with the grand finale on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. From Leeds the route travels 190-kilometres towards Harrogate through Masham where the 4,000 competitors will ride through the heart of the 22,000 acre Swinton Estate.

The Swinton Estate is one of the largest estates in England in arguably one of the UK’s most spectacular locations, stretching from the River Ure in Wensleydale up onto the moorland Dales. The end of the first day will finish in Harrogate, where the first maillot jaune / yellow jersey of 2014 will be handed out.

In a typical year’s race the Tour de France attracts 12 million spectators along the route and 1,200 hotel rooms are reserved each night for the teams, staff, press and tour personnel.  Spectators spend an average of six hours at the roadside watching the tour. 

The last time the tour visited England was in 2007 when it raced from London to Kent.  Two million people turned out over the two days and it’s estimated it brought in £88 million to the south-east economy. 

Felicity Cunliffe Lister, Proprietor of Swinton Park nestled in the heart of the Swinton Estate is already registering strong interest in the event from domestic and international travellers keen to experience both the route and the wider destination.  She says, “There is no doubt the Yorkshire economy will benefit to the tune of millions of pounds from this event with extra spending on hotel accommodation, restaurants, pubs and other tourist attractions. We are already experiencing high demand to stay at Swinton Park in the period before, during and after the event, and I expect there will be a long lasting tourist legacy from the Grand Depart.”

The popularity of cycling is at fever pitch in the UK market after such success in the Olympics and of course Bradley Wiggins being the first ever Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012, followed closely by Chris Froome in 2013.

The Swinton Estate has been in the ownership of the Cunliffe-Lister family since the 1880’s, when Samuel Cunliffe-Lister bought the estate on retiring from his mill in Bradford, Manningham Mills. His descendants became the Earls of Swinton and Baron Masham in 1955. Mark, Baron of Masham, is now responsible for the running of the Estate, and he and his wife Felicity converted the family home into a hotel in 2001.  It was even the ‘almost bolthole’ of the British Royal Family since Queen Victoria almost bought the property instead of Balmoral.

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