Councillors last night backed the latest plans for the massive Tour de France spectacular in Huddersfield.
Cabinet members approved a spending package of £629, 397 to bring the world’s biggest sporting event to town.
And they expect that the investment – supported by £221,000 from the Government – will have a massive effect on businesses in the area.
It is anticipated that the return will be around the £2m mark – three times the expenditure.
The council is aiming to support over 150 local businesses to participate in opportunities that the major event will offer.
In addition to the tourists flocking to see the race, a 100-day cultural festival is planned in the run-up to the race itself, which hits Yorkshire on July 5 and 6.
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “I know some will ask in these days of austerity why we should be spending council money like this.
“If the councils in the region did not support the bid, the Tour de France would not be coming to Yorkshire. And secondly, we have a duty to invest for the future and I believe that is what we are doing.
“The return on our investment through the spending of the visitors expected in the region will be many times what we are paying.
“It is the biggest sporting event in the world and one billion TV viewers will see the Tour in Kirklees, in addition to all those who come here.”
A £1m bid to the Arts Council has been successful and commissions for major new works will be part of the cultural festival.
Paul Kemp, a council director, told Cabinet: “Locally, we recognise an associated programme of appropriate cultural activities and events will not only boost the profile of the area in the run-up to the main event, but will attract visitors.
“The objective was not just to bring a spectacular event to the UK but also to showcase to the world the towns, cities and rural areas of Yorkshire and build a legacy for cycling and tourism.”
The Tour will have 200 of the world’s top riders, 2,000 vehicles and up to 5,000 officials and press staff.
In Kirklees, the race on July 6 arrives at Ainley Top, heading towards Huddersfield town centre, round the ring road and out through Lockwood, Holmfirth and over Holme Moss.
The ascent of Holme Moss is the key part of the stage and is certain to attract huge crowds.
Giant TV screens will be erected along the route to enable crowds to follow the action.
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson believes the Tour de France gives Yorkshire a great chance to sell itself.
The minister was in the region yesterday to hear how plans for the Grand Depart are progressing.
He also met meet key staff who will deliver the start of the world’s most famous cycle race.
It will be in Yorkshire on July 5 and 6 next year, with one stage coming through Calderdale and Huddersfield.
During his visit, Mr Robertson met members of organisers TDF 2014 Ltd, staff from Welcome to Yorkshire and others involved in delivering the event, including representatives from local authorities and the police.
Mr Robertson, said: “The Tour de France is the most famous cycle race in the world and with Yorkshire hosting the Grand Depart next year it is a fantastic opportunity for the county to sell itself to an international audience as a great tourist destination.
“All the key partners are working hard to make sure we deliver a world class event, encourage even greater participation in cycling and give a boost to businesses across the region.”
Sir Rodney Walker, who chairs TDF 2014 Ltd, said: “I am delighted the minister has made this trip up to Yorkshire.
“It is a great opportunity for him to see first-hand the progress we have made, to meet the team and see how the event is coming together.”