Stoke-on-Trent leg of Tour of Britain could be scaled back to cut costs
TALKS are to be held between city council officials and Tour of Britain organisers over the future of the race in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Sentinel recently revealed how hosting a Potteries leg of the national cycling race had cost more than £820,000 over the last five years, including annual payments of between £80,000 and £175,000 to organisers.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council said the televised race puts the city on the map and benefits the economy as hundreds line Hanley's streets to watch the race's finish. But it is now looking to drastically cut its payments for the race as it prepares to save another £50 million over two years.
This could lead to the race no longer basing one of its legs in the city, or a renegotiated route which either starts or finishes in the city.
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Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for economic development, said: "The Tour of Britain has been a great success and we still have an aspiration to host it again. But we won't be spending as much on it.
"Rather than a start and finish in the city, we'll negotiate to see if we can have a start or a finish at a reduced cost."
Last year's race, which featured Olympic stars Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, started at Trentham Gardens and finished in Old Hall Street, Hanley, after a 93-mile route around much of North Staffordshire.
The 2012 event cost the cash-strapped council about £163,000, including payments to the organisers and thousands more spent on marketing, security and traffic management.