2 July 2015
It’s now a year since the Tour de France – the largest sporting event in the world – came to Sheffield.
And as well as organising the Allez Allez Sheffield event, a three-day celebration of all things cycling which runs from 3 to 5 July, Sheffield City Council has developed, with private sector partners, an ambitious Tour de France legacy project to animate the Sheffield route and help preserve the enthusiasm and profile of the Tour.
A stone marker has been installed at the finish line of the Grand Depart, on Attercliffe Common, as well as a smaller stone marker at the beginning of the Midhopestones climb, to indicate where the peloton entered Sheffield.
Broughton Lane roundabout in Attercliffe, where Vincenzo Nibali crossed the finish line to win the first stage of the Tour, will also be planted with yellow wildflowers to mark the significance of the area.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development at Sheffield City Council, said: “It is absolutely crucial that the excitement and inspiration generated by the Tour in Sheffield is preserved for future generations.
“More than 380,000 people lined the streets of Sheffield to watch the race, and our city was showcased on television to more than 18.6 million people worldwide. At the same time, a post-event survey showed that three quarters of spectators would recommend Sheffield as a tourist destination to family and friends. This sort of enthusiasm is exactly what we need to capture and remember.
“As well as the stone start and end markers, we have a proposal to put street art in place on Sheffield’s four King of the Mountain climbs, and will launch a public consultation on this to coincide with the Allez Allez Sheffield weekend of cycling.
“We hope these celebration markers will cement a long-term legacy of increased cycling participation, attract cyclists and visitors to the city, and remind those who see them of the glorious Grand Depart.”
The project will focus upon animating the Tour de France route by formalising some of the more memorable street art which was produced by members of the public during the Grand Depart last year.
Phrases such as “Ey up TdF” and “It’s only pain” were painted on the road at the time, and gained much media attention. The plan now is to turn these phrases into permanent street art on the road, on each of the four King of the Mountain climbs in Sheffield – at Midhopestones, Bradfield, Oughtibridge and Jenkin Hill – along with distance markers every quarter of each climb.
Accompanying the start and end stone markers, and the street art, will be a downloadable guide that residents, visitors and cyclists can use.
The project is being sponsored by private sector partners Amey and Eleven Design, and supported by Sheffield International Venues (SIV).
Glenn Thornley from Eleven Design said: “Having the Tour De France come to your home town is a little bit like finding out that the World Cup final will be played in your local park.
“Being able to ride on the same roads as your cycling heroes is like being let loose for a kick-a-bout on Wembley’s hallowed turf.
“Eleven Design are proud to be involved in a project that celebrates a very special day in our city’s sporting history and paves the way for future generations of cyclists to explore our city, find these iconic routes and test themselves on our lung-bursting climbs.”
Rob Allen, Business Director for Amey in Sheffield, said: “We were heavily involved with the preparations for the Tour de France last year, ensuring that the route was suitable and safe for riders and getting the city ready for the volume of visitors to the event. We also cleaned up afterwards.
“The Tour de France was a fantastic event for Sheffield and we’re really proud to continue our support and be involved in this celebratory project.
“The stone markers and street art, which we are helping to install, will be in the city for years to come, acting as a reminder of last year’s successful event.”
The public consultation will be open for three weeks, and views are wanted from residents and cyclists.
This comes as Sheffield is building upon its reputation as the UK’s Outdoor City.
Last year an independent study, carried out by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, found that outdoor recreation in Sheffield generates more than £53m in economic output a year, in addition to engaging people in outdoor activity and generating significant health benefits.
Sheffield is also gearing up for one of the key events under the Outdoor City banner – the Reward Health Cliffhanger, taking place on 11 and 12 July in Millhouses Park.
Cliffhanger, now in its ninth year, is the UK’s biggest outdoor festival for outdoor people, and draws in climbers, bikers, runners and more from across the country.
Coun Bramall added: “This year is a bumper year for Sheffield’s status as an Outdoor City, with nationally and internationally-renowned events such as the Climbing Works International Masters, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, the Steel City Downhill, the International Adventure Conference and the European Outdoor Summit.
“We are building on our reputation, rebranding Sheffield as the Outdoor City, and using this unique offer to bring in more business and tourism.
“With two thirds of the city boundaries within the Peak District National Park, a greater spend per head on outdoor equipment than the rest of the UK, an above average participation rate in outdoor pursuits and more than 200 outdoor businesses, the outdoor economy has huge significance to our city.”