YEP Says, July 29: City must seize this opportunity and capitalise on Tour

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...and the important lessons in life after school

THIS year’s Tour de France may have ended with victory for Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali in Paris, but this will always be remembered as Yorkshire’s Tour after an unforgettable Grand Depart which saw millions line the roads.

But now is the time to look to the future and build on the success of what was the biggest sporting event every staged in our region.

Hotels in Leeds are already cashing in on early signs of a two-wheeled tourism boom, reporting a surge in bookings from cyclists wanting to tackle Le Grand Depart for themselves.

The Premier Inn in Leeds city centre had over 150 bike-related enquiries within three days of stage one getting under way, while others are offering everything from storage and packed lunches to cycling maps.

And if local businesses are able to tap into this wave of interest in the city then others should too.

So it was surprising that just as the Tour was leaving Yorkshire, Leeds City Council said it was looking to close the visitor centre at the train station in order to save money as the upcoming redevelopment of the station is expected to send rents increase.

If the full benefits of having the Tour here are to be realised, then Leeds needs to look long and hard at how it can capitalise. Money should not be frittered away, but sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate –and this is a golden chance that must not go begging.

Important lessons in life after school

LIFE for young people today isn’t always easy. Tuition fees have put university out of reach for many, while others are finding it desperately tough to land a job.

It’s little wonder then that there are 24,000 young adults in Leeds still living with their parents because they can’t afford to rent or buy a place of their own.

This is why initiatives such as Make the Grade – which sees top businesses mentoring pupils in Leeds – are so important.

If their prospects are to improve, then it’s vital that youngsters are given the help they need to be better prepared for life after school and as ready as they can be to enter the world of work.


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