Andy Burrows goes out and about in the streets of Peterborough to enjoy the Halfords Tour Series Cycle Race and talk to the people and the powers. Annette Joyce Head of City Operations at Peterborough City Council joins Paul in the studio. Broadcast at 07:10 on Wednesday 16th June 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show hosted by Paul Stainton on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
PAUL: Thousands of people flocked to the centre of the city last night for the Halfords Tour Series Cycle Race. The race was won by Dean Downing of the Rapha Condor team. Our reporter Andy Burrows had his cycle helmet on. (TAPE) (OB)
ANDY: And they’re off. Fifty riders, five teams, and they are going at a heck of a pace, round the first corner and on to Bridge Street. / We’re about fifteen minutes into the race, and here come the leaders. Whizzing straight past. Big cheers as they go past, people cheering on the various different teams. Just at the bottom of Bridge Street before they turn on to Bourges Boulevard. They have to hit the brakes quite hard.
WOMAN: Yes we did this this afternoon, my friend and I. We know what it’s .. we did a time trial this afternoon.
ANDY: You had a go on the course?
WOMAN: Yes, we did yes.
ANDY: What’s the course actually like then, to ride?
WOMAN: Tight corners, here, very tight, And also up in Cowgate.
ANDY: Would you normally turn out to a cycling event?
MAN: It’s the first time I’ve been here, and seeing how the professionals do it, is a bit of an eye-opener really. When I think I’m reasonable. then to see these guys, no chance.
ANDY: (LAUGHS) Keep trying. Keep pedalling.
STEVE: Steve Bowyer, Head of City Vibrancy. It puts us on the map. It attracts people to Peterborough, who might not have come here normally, and really actually sets us apart as being a city that can deliver great events. I think that’s a really important message to get across. Peterborough is changing. We’re now on a map. We’re a national city. Let’s really celebrate that.
IAIN: Iain Crighton Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Peterborough, and Chairman for Living Sport the county sport partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. You can see by the excitement here today, it brings people to the city, but actually puts Peterborough on the map in terms of holding major events.
ANDY: The race has just finished. The pelaton came past so fast Iain I’ve got no idea who won. With me is Stuart Hamilton. You were effectively in charge of the thousands of people that were here, from the City Council’s point of view. He just said to me, “I think it went well.” And I think you’re probably right, aren’t you?
STUART: Yes. Really really pleased. Great numbers here tonight. Round about nine thousand I reckon around the course. So really really great. Everybody had a great time.
ANDY: Do you know who won?
STUART: No. (LAUGHS)
ANDY: (LAUGHS) It’s not really the point I suppose is it?
STUART: No from my point of view it’s keeping everybody safe and everybody’s safe. Everybody seems to have had a great time and that’s what the important thing is.
ANDY: Peterborough was probably the winner, wasn’t it?
STUART: We want this back again here next year, no question about that. It’s the second year we’ve had this, and it’s gone so well, we want it next year again. (STUDIO)
PAUL: Andy Burrows at the race last night. Dean Downing of the Rapha Condor team won it. A great event for the city last night. Even just walking round Peterborough during the day yesterday there was a real energy around the city. Annette Joyce is the Head of City Operations for Peterborough City Council. Morning, Annette.
ANNETTE: Good morning. How are you?
PAUL: I’m very good thank you. I ate some humble pie last year, and I’m pleased to say I did. Because these things really do put a city on the map. Nine thousand people turning out to see the riders last night is a tremendous tremendous thing.
ANNETTE: It’s absolutely amazing. And you’re quite right. What makes it so exciting is the build-up to the event, and seeing all those people milling about during the day, and getting a sense of there’s something going on, there’s something happening. And do you know what, Andy, I’m so proud that people just stay for that event. Because we had it on a Thursday night last year, and it was late-night shopping, so there was a ready-made audience. And I think we were all a bit trepidatious, thinking, ooh, will people turn up to it, won’t they turn up. And do you know what I can say about Peterborough? It should be so proud of itself, because it never lets us down. Every time we put something on, from Italian events to Great Eastern Run, the Tour Series here, the Christmas Lights, people just flock out. And I felt so proud to be part of that last night. A really good event.
PAUL: We said about nine thousand people turned up for the event. Is that about right?
ANNETTE: I think we were basing it on … I think we probably had … we were slightly ahead of last year. And I think the guesstimate last year was around about eight to nine thousand. So I think that probably is about right.
PAUL: Do you think local businesses will have benefited from it? There was some talk yesterday. Some were a bit pooh poohing it from last year.
PAUL: The course was changed slightly, wasn’t it?
ANNETTE: Yes. I think one of the reasons for moving it from a Thursday night late night shopping was because there were some issues with businesses having to close because they were effectively blocked as part of the race course. We’ve moved it to a Tuesday. And I think on a micro-economic impact on the city, it’s really good for the caterers who stay open, the bars etcetera,. The car parks do quite well out of it of course. But it’s really more about, I think Steve Bowyer was saying it in his clip, it’s about putting Peterborough on the map. It’s making people feel proud of Peterborough. And therefore people wanting to visit, maybe later on in the year. Because it’s getting the reputation of Peterborough upheld as a great city to come to. That’s the bit that I’m really wanting to push.
PAUL: For many people though, it may have been their first visit to Peterborough. Do you think they will have been impressed by our new-look Cathedral Square, and the fountains and everything?
ANNETTE: Well I hope so. They obviously wouldn’t have seen much of the fountains yesterday because it had a race course running through it. But you have to admit, it’s a tremendously professional looking set-up, isn’t it? They obviously take these to places like Canary Wharf, other big major cities. So if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
PAUL: Yes. And we’re going to be on the telly tonight, ITV4. So that’s all good, isn’t it.
ANNETTE: Yes. That’s all excellent. Yes. Get some more coverage out of that. And as I think Stuart Hamilton was saying in his snippet, looking to see if we can put this on again next year, and build on the event. Because as you rightly say it builds up throughout the day. But we would like to expand on that, and then we’ll look at tourism. Can we get overnight stays. Can we do more with the restaurant, the bar offer, etcetera. So that people feel the need to stay overnight, maybe enjoy the event.
PAUL: Yes. Will it be back again next year? What’s your gut feeling?
ANNETTE: Yes. I think it will. Obviously it’s going to be down to budget. It’s going to be down to sponsorship. But I think the feel from last night was, yes, we definitely want this kind of high-profile event back in our city centre.
PAUL: Annette thank you for that. Annette Joyce Head of City Operations for Peterborough City Council.