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Feature: British PM backs top world cycling event for Yorkshire, Northern Powerhouse

by Larry Neild

LONDON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — British Prime Minister Theresa May has given her official backing to a bid to bring cycling’s iconic World Road Championships to the northern England region of Yorkshire.

Cycling’s official body, British Cycling’s has delivered its bid to the sport’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

May said the government will underwrite the event and back it with new investment to get even more people to visit the region.

“Our backing will include 15 million pounds (19.65 million U.S. dollars) for cycling infrastructure projects, to encourage even greater participation in the sport and continue the proud legacy that has seen our athletes excel at the Rio Games,” May wrote in an article published Friday by the Yorkshire Post newspaper.

Yorkshire earned a place on the world map after hosting the start of the famous Tour de France, and now stages an annual cycle race, the Tour de Yorkshire.

“Yorkshire’s beauty was brilliantly shown off to the world by cycling events like the Tour de France and the fantastic Tour de Yorkshire,” added May.

In the same article, May made it clear she fully supported the Northern Powerhouse initiative, the strategy devised by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer she fired hours after becoming prime minister.

“For too long, the United Kingdom has been much too dependent on growth in London. The government I lead will instead build a country that works for every one of us, in every part of the UK, not just the privileged few,” May wrote.

She described Yorkshire as a key part of the government’s vision for a Northern Powerhouse, describing it as “our plan to help the great cities and towns of the North pool their strengths and take on the world”.

Outlining how powerhouse will help the economy of northern England, May explained: “we will make massive improvements to transport, making it easier to get around, and more attractive for business to move here.”

“That means major investments to transform key roads. It means developing high speed rail, not just from north to south but also from east to west,” said May.

“In total we’re making a record 13 billion pounds investment in transport across the North.”

May said the government would get behind innovators and entrepreneurs, citing Yorkshire’s ground-breaking inventions of the past which include stainless steel and middle-of-the-road markings known as “cat’s eyes”.

“As we leave the EU, the British government will underwrite science investments made by EU institutions, so that key investments are not disrupted.”

Hailing the county’s scenic qualities, May said: “Yorkshire doesn’t just have industrial strength; it is also naturally and architecturally beautiful. It has the stunning landscapes of the Dales, the North York Moors and the East Riding.”

“But crucially, we will underline all this by devolving real power to people in Yorkshire. The population of this region is more than five million but until recently there has been no devolution of power to Yorkshire people. Now we’re changing that.

“There is no doubt that Yorkshire is on the rise. Compared to 2010, there are now 137,000 more jobs here and 50,000 more small businesses. Across the north of England as a whole, inward investment has rocketed by 127 percent in the last two years alone. That’s even faster than in London and the South, and shows how international investors increasingly recognize the North’s strengths,” said May.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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