Kettering set to host end of 2017 Women’s Tour cycling stage

Cycle Race: Kettering: Women's Cycle Race final stage finishing in Kettering town centre. 
Winners come into Sheep Street
Sunday June 19  2016 NNL-160619-190757009
Cycle Race: Kettering: Women's Cycle Race final stage finishing in Kettering town centre. Winners come into Sheep Street Sunday June 19 2016 NNL-160619-190757009

Kettering town centre looks set to host the end of the Northamptonshire stage of the 2017 Women’s Tour cycling race.

The council’s executive committee will be asked to accept an offer to host the finish by the county council at a meeting next week.

The borough has taken part in the race for the past two years, successfully hosting the dramatic finish last year.

Although the 2017 schedule has not yet been finalised, Kettering’s town centre is the preferred location for the conclusion.

Other parts of the borough, including Desborough and Rothwell, have seen the race run through the area.

Next year’s race is likely to take place midweek rather than a Sunday as in 2016, and will cost the council a £40,000 contribution - the same as this year.

It is estimated that last year’s Northamptonshire stage, which attracted 80,000 spectators, had a positive economic impact of at least £1.6m.

Since this year’s race, won by GB’s Lizzie Armitstead, it has been reported that local cycling clubs have seen an increase in club membership enrolment.

A report set to be discussed at the meeting reads: “In the past two years Kettering Council has also co-ordinated other events to coincide with the build-up to the race event.

“In doing so, it has worked closely with local businesses and a range of sports clubs in order to help everyone get the most out of the event and the build-up to it.

“It is proposed that the council would continue and further broaden this approach, using the learning from previous years and from other events to help add value to the event and lever more community benefit from its investment.

“It is anticipated that by making a decision now about proceeding with the event, this will allow more time to help both Kettering Council and its partners plan for it.

“It will also provide a better platform on which to seek sponsorship to support the event which will be a key objective and area of activity over the coming weeks and months, and which will help reduce the total cost to the public purse.”

The meeting takes place at 6.30pm in the council chamber on Wednesday (October 19).