A media hub being built to house over 2,000 global journalists for the Tour de France Grand Depart from Leeds is taking shape.
The cream of the world’s press will be situated at state-of-the-art facilities under construction at MEPC’s Wellington Place development, off Whitehall Road, in Leeds, for the cycling spectacle which starts in the city on July 5.
As it nears completion, aspiring writers from The Co-operative Academy, in Burmantofts, are to be given the chance to tour the centre and meet the media as part of a writing competition organised by MEPC.
Having been invited to write an article on ‘what the Tour de France means to Leeds’, the best three entrants will experience being a journalist for the day and quiz a regional writer about life as a journalist on Thursday.
Dominique Simcox, marketing manager at MEPC, said: “One of the key reasons this region was selected to host the first two stages of the race was because of the legacy opportunities it provides.
“Therefore, we’re proud to be helping these youngsters get creative and give them this fantastic chance to learn more about the exciting opportunities that being a journalist and working in the media provide.”
The three winning entrants’ articles and photographs from the tour of the centre, which was created by Leeds-based Wellpleased Events, will be posted on the Wellington Place website www.mepc.com/wellingtonplace.
MEPC, law firm and Wellington Place tenant Irwin Mitchell, and CJCT, the design and build architect for Wellington Place, are supporting the competition by offering each winner an Apple iPad as a prize.
The 5,400sqm media centre’s construction is scheduled to take a week from start a finish. It provides space not only for journalists through interview, press conference and writing facilities, but will also cater for over 800 branded race vehicles.
Elite riders taking part in the Tour, which will roll through Yorkshire on July 5 and 6, can use the centre, alongside their support teams, for kitting up and organising essential equipment.
Sam Welply, owner of Wellpleased Events, said: “We were thrilled to win the contract and have been working hard to over-deliver on our commitments to the ASO, Leeds City Council and Welcome to Yorkshire.”
Wellington Place is a mixed-use property development which hosts a business community boasting names including Allianz, Sky and Towers Watson.