Funding bid blow to village banner idea

Wharfedale Observer: A customised banner designed by local schoolchildren A customised banner designed by local schoolchildren

A Wharfedale village’s hopes of creating an eye-catching artistic display for next year’s Tour de France are hanging by a thread.

Pool-in-Wharfedale has been working for months towards giving the world’s top cyclists a warm welcome by positioning a series of large customised banners, designed by local schoolchildren, along the route.

But the organisers have been left facing a funding black hole after hearing last week that their application for money from a Grand Depart cultural festival pot had been unsuccessful.

Project co-leader and Pool Parish Councillor Richard Parker is hopeful the initiative can continue but only if others come forward to support it.

He said: “We’ve had disappointing news – I think they just had too many applications and too little money – so we’ve had to pick ourselves up off the floor.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep the venture alive. We need to find alternative sources of funding and we need to be as creative as we can about that. The project costs in total are £10,000 but if we can get just half of that then we should be able to use match-funding and the like to get the rest.

“The Tour is only six months away come January, so it’s getting closer and we need to get moving – I’d welcome approaches from anyone interested in helping.”

As reported in the Observer in October, the project would see more than 300 school pupils working with local artists Tony and Karen van de Bospoort to create 20 double-sided banners.

The 2.2 metre-high pieces of art, all featuring a photograph of a different child riding a colourful, sketched bicycle and a message, would be mounted on streetlights along Arthington Lane, Main Street and Pool Road.

The 2014 tour’s 191 kilometre opening stage from Leeds to Harrogate takes place on Saturday, July 5 and will see the world’s finest riders racing to Harewood House and then joining the A659 through Arthington, Pool and Otley.

From there the race will proceed along the A660 and A65 to Ilkley and Addingham before heading to Skipton and beyond.

Coun Parker can be contacted by sending an e-mail to parker inpool@talktalk.net or calling 07764 684023.

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