Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 14.53.16THE Tour’s coming to town – and grants are up for grabs to help local groups and organisations make the most of a unique opportunity.

Middlesbrough was last month unveiled as the start town for Stage 3 of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire and work is well under way to ensure Sunday, May 1 is truly a day to remember.

Tees Valley Community Foundation has now joined forces with Middlesbrough Council to offer £10,000 to support a minimum of 10 groups to deliver projects on and around the Middlesbrough stage.

It’s a golden opportunity for community groups to get involved in one of the most spectacular and well received events in the British sporting calendar.

Returning for a second year, the event – stage by Welcome to Yorkshire in partnership with Tour de France organisers ASO – features three tough stages culminating in a challenging 198km route from Middlesbrough to Scarborough.

Middlesbrough will host the ‘roll-out’ for the stage, which will see the peloton make its way past a series of local landmarks – including Centre Square, Teesside University Campus Heart, Albert Park and Stewart Park – before the racing proper gets under way on the outskirts of town. Full details of the route will be published shortly.

Grants of £1,000 are available to support groups to celebrate the road race – applications can be submitted by constituted groups based in Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley. Applications must show how their project links with the event.

Projects are not being sought to support physical activity via cycling.

Tees Valley Community Foundation Grants Officer Sarah Hodgson said: “Playing host to the Tour de Yorkshire is a fantastic opportunity for Middlesbrough, and it’s our chance to showcase everything that’s great about the area to a huge audience.

“These grants are designed to help local groups and organisations do just that, helping to bring extra atmosphere to the event and ensuring it’s a day to remember for all involved.

“Successful applications could be for anything from providing arts activities such as music or dance shows along the race route to creating inspiring decorations and artworks.”

Applications can be submitted at any time before the closing date of Thursday, February 18 and a panel will meet to make final decisions on Thursday, February 25. Groups will be notified of the panel’s decision within one week. 

Applicants will need to provide a copy of their constitution/set of rules and proof of bank and any safeguarding policies in place.

Successful projects will be invited to start on Tuesday, March 1 and end on Friday, September 30.

For more information and an application form, visit www.teesvalleyfoundation.org