A 100-day arts festival is set to herald the arrival of the Yorkshire stages of this summer’s Tour de France, organisers have announced.
The event will showcase the work of the region’s most talented creative types and will take place in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
South Yorkshire arts groups will be providing commissions for the festival and there will be events and activities for the county’s residents to try.
The Yorkshire Festival starts on March 27 and runs until the Grand Départ in Leeds on July 5.
The Sheffield stage of the race takes place on July 7.
The festival was launched in Haworth, in the heart of Bronte country in West Yorkshire.
A banner was unfurled by Yorkshire Water, whose parent company Kelda Group is sponsoring the festival.
Executive producer Henrietta Duckworth said organisers of the cultural festival would deliver a ‘world-class programme of events to showcase the imagination and creativity of Yorkshire’s cultural talent’.
Richard Flint, the chief executive of Kelda Group and Yorkshire Water, said: “The 390km route of the Grand Départ will take riders through the heart of many of our reservoir catchments in North, West and South Yorkshire which include some of the most stunning and carefully-managed countryside in the UK.
“We’re really looking forward to working with local councils and communities across Yorkshire to ensure as many people as possible can celebrate and watch the race.
“The event is watched by more than 3.5 billion people worldwide with an additional two million visitors expected to come to Yorkshire to watch the race. “What a fantastic opportunity it is to promote what talent and beauty our great region has to offer.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are in the final throes of agreeing the official festival programme which, I can tell you, features some absolutely fantastic events.
“The 100-day festival will be a really exciting way to welcome the world to Yorkshire.”
More details will be released by Welcome to Yorkshire on January 29.
The second stage of the Yorkshire Grand Départ will finish at Sheffield Arena after following a route through the north of the city.