September 23rd, 2016

Can Redditch afford to hold the Tour Series next year?

Can Redditch afford to hold the Tour Series next year? Can Redditch afford to hold the Tour Series next year?
Updated: 2:27 pm, Jun 02, 2016

THE Pearl Izumi Tour Series proved a huge success on Thursday (May 26) but will it be back in Redditch next year?

The funding for the event for 2017 is currently hanging in the balance after Worcestershire County Council said it may not be able to afford it.

However Councillor Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council, said they would try to bridge the gap to keep the tour in Redditch.

“I attended the event and it was great,” he said. “There were so many people there. But now we have this problem with the funding and we need sponsors to come forward.

“Although we’re only a small borough council I am willing to contribute towards the funding for the event which benefits the town so much.

“People attended in their thousands and it was great for the stalls and business owners in Redditch.”

In previous years the county council has committed to footing the bill for three years. But for 2016 they only signed on for one, causing concern for the event’s future.

A council spokesperson said: “The Pearl Izumi Tour Series was a huge success this year and we would love to keep it in Redditch in years to come.

“We will be working hard over the next 12 months to look for partners to help us fund the event in 2017 because like all councils around the country, we are facing difficult financial pressures.”

MP Karen Lumley met with organisers, borough and county council leaders to ensure funding for this year’s event and has pledged to continue to working to keep the Tour Series in Redditch.

“It would be a devastating loss for Redditch if the tour series was not to return,” she said.

“About 80,000 came to the town to see the cycling, it was televised the next day and is a real boost for local businesses. I will be doing everything I can to secure funding with our partners and other business.”