There’s a huge buzz in Otley today with the Women’s Race early this morning and the Men’s Race this afternoon. Otley is very proud of our own Lizzie Armitstead, competing in the Tour de Yorskhire Women’s Race, which has attracted the most lucrative women’s cycle race prize in the world.

Nik Rutherford, our Labour candidate was out and bright and early this morning before the  Women’s Race at 8.15. Nik is pictured above talking to the Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, and Welcome to Yorkshire’s Chief Executive, Gary Verity just before the start  of the Women’s Race.

Nik believes the Tour presents a golden opportunity for the town’s organisations to get together with Leeds City Council and other regional tourism bodies, to develop a robust tourism and marketing strategy to promote our town .

“The Tour de Yorkshire is televised live across the UK and to more than 100 countries around the world.  Labour-led Leeds City Council has worked with Welcome to Yorkshire to put Otley in the global spotlight.

This represents a huge, tangible and lasting investment in our town by the city council. We need to be energetic and creative in bringing local organisations and people together to make the most of this opportunity, and use it to raise our profile as a visitor destination.

Tour de Yorkshire Men’s Race passing in front of the Philip Coyne Labour Rooms in Otley on 30th April
Nik with Yorkshire Blue Badge Tourist Guide Dudley Parker, in Otley Market Place

With vision, and support from tourism specialist bodies such as Welcome to Yorkshire,  we can continue to draw visitors that will ensure the town’s catering, hospitality, entertainment and retail businesses will thrive and expand long after the cycle races have departed. This in turn can help to generate more local jobs and potential for business and enterprise in the town, so that fewer of our younger people will be forced to look for work elsewhere.”

Read more about Nik’s vision for tourism in Otley here