Portsmouth bids for 2019 Grand Depart

The city of Portsmouth is bidding to host the 2019 Tour De France Grand Depart.

Portsmouth Council leader Donna Jones outlined plans for a bid, which include engagement from Brittany Ferries and Portsmouth’s twin city of Caen in France.

“It would bring millions to Portsmouth and project images of Portsmouth around the world. It will reinforce confidence that Portsmouth is a changing place that’s aiming really high and has high aspirations for itself,” she told Portsmouth’s The News.

“What we need to be doing is sending a message to local businesses and any business thinking of relocating that Portsmouth is the place to be. I would expect given the success of the Tour de France that visitor numbers would be higher on the south coast as we are only a few hours away from France. I would expect the boost to the local economy would be well in excess of £100m.“

The news comes after Visit England reported a ‘business boom’ following Yorkshire’s Grand Depart.

Portsmouth last weekend proved a worthy venue for the America’s Cup, winning praise from Britain’s leading sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie.

Winds of more than 30 knots caused the cancellation of the second day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series on Sunday. Organisers brought forward the two races by 90 minutes in to try to avoid the worst of the weather, which was moving in from the west.

When the wind limit of 25 knots was reached, the waterfront arena and fanzone area were evacuated, before racing was called off.

However, Ainslie said the location had already proved itself on Saturday when his all-British Land Rover BAR team won the first race and came second in the next to take an overall lead before the series moves to Gothenburg next month.