Grand Départ success spurs on region to launch culture festival

Cyclists pulling a mini-grand piano from Mytholmroyd up Cragg Vale, to Blackstone Edge, the longest continuous incline in England. Part of the Tour de France Grand Depart, Yorkshire Festival
Cyclists pulling a mini-grand piano from Mytholmroyd up Cragg Vale, to Blackstone Edge, the longest continuous incline in England. Part of the Tour de France Grand Depart, Yorkshire Festival

First we had the Yorkshire Grand Depart. Now ambitious plans for a biennial Yorkshire Festival of art and culture starting in 2016 were announced today.

The ten-year plan will involve ‘major headlining commissions’ and will have public participation at its heart.

It has been announced on the day a report reveals that this summer’s cultural festival accompanying the Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France generated close to £10 million for the county’s economy.

A report out today on the first cultural festival to accompany Grand Départ shows that there were more than 800,000 attendances at the 2,225 live performances, exhibitions and workshops over the 100-day Yorkshire Festival programme.

Yorkshire Festival 2014, conceived by Welcome to Yorkshire, and supported by the Arts Council England, Yorkshire Water and Local Authorities across the county involved 47 headline projects alongside 475 fringe events.

Henrietta Duckworth, executive producer of Yorkshire Festival, said: “Yorkshire Festival exceeded all our expectations.”

Talks regarding a future Yorkshire Festival are now underway.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire Festival shone a spotlight on Yorkshire, creating an exceptional summer for people in readiness for the grandest ever Grand Départ.”

He added: “From today, we kick-start our ten year plan to create Yorkshire Festival for the future.”