Businesses from across Colne attended a special meeting this week to learn more about the Friends Life Tour of Britain coming to town for the finish of Stage Two on Monday 7 September.

The Tour of Britain is the country’s largest free-to-spectate sporting event, attracting the biggest live attendance of any sporting event in the UK.  

And Pendle Council is jointly hosting Stage Two, Ribble Valley and Pendle, Clitheroe to Colne with Ribble Valley Borough Council on Monday September 7.

The race which starts in Clitheroe town centre and ends in Colne town centre includes three SKODA King of the Mountains. It’s the shortest but toughest of the stages.

Philip Mousdale, Corporate Director, said: “We organised a special meeting for Colne town centre businesses to come along and find out how they might be impacted.

“The town centre will be closed from 5am on the day of the race until 9.30pm so we wanted to give advance notice to businesses so they can think about how they might need to alter things like deliveries.

“All of the car parks will be closed from 6pm the day before until 9.30pm on the day of the race because of the sheer amount of equipment needed by the Tour organisers SweetSpot.”

Town centre road closure will start just below Primet Bridge and finish on Market Street at Colne Precinct. 

The top of Walton Street and Colne Lane will be completely blocked off all day as will access through Market Place and Parliament Street.

Importantly Colne Bus Station will be within the road closures and will be closed all day. Buses will take alternative routes which will be advertised nearer the time. 

Contact will be made with emergency services, social services, health centres and bus companies about the road closures and how it may affect them soon.  

At the meeting businesses were also told how other areas have benefited from hosting a stage of the Tour.
According to an independent report, each area which hosted a stage last year saw an injection of at least £2m into their economy.

Philip added: “We’re encouraging businesses to create Tour of Britain themed windows, paint old bikes red, white and blue to display outside their businesses and hang bunting to create a festive atmosphere.

“We also hope they’ll have things like special offers and themed cycling menus!

“It was a really positive meeting and I’m confident that our town centre businesses will do all they can to benefit from the extra footfall.

“Pendle really is a hidden gem and this gives us an amazing opportunity to show the world what we have to offer!”

Alastair Grant, Commercial Director of Friends Life Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot, said: “We’ve been delighted with the reception we’ve received locally in Pendle and Ribble Valley since announcing that Stage Two of the Tour of Britain is finishing in the borough.  

“The Tour is free to attend for all spectators and televised live not just in the UK, but around the world.

“We're working with Pendle Council to encourage local businesses, groups and the community to really get behind the Tour and help put Colne on the world cycling map!”

Below – Local professional Ian Wilkinson of Team Raleigh GAC has leant his support to Pendle's hosting of the Friends Life Tour of Britain

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Only outline details of the Stage Two route are currently available. After leaving Clitheroe town centre, riders will complete a clockwise route via Nick O’Pendle, Longride, Dunsop Bridge and Slaidburn in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

After Gisburn the route heads into Pendle via Barnoldswick and Earby before briefly returning to Clitheroe and then on to Whalley, Brierfield, Nelson and the finish in Colne. 

Further details of the route, including Ordnance Survey stage maps, will be announced in the summer, along with details of the 20 competing teams.  There will be rolling closures along the route but any disruption will be kept to a minimum.