Sheffield to host Major Tour De France Business Festival

Sheffield to host Major Tour De France Business Festival

10 April 2014

As part of an extensive programme of activity to maximise opportunities around the arrival of the Tour de France Grand Depart, Sheffield is set to host a major International Business Festival.

Officially launched last week by Trade Minister Lord Livingston, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Welcome to Yorkshire and partners will present a three-day event this summer, with the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield named as one of the main festival hubs.

Taking place, 2-4 July 2014, The Grand Départ International Business Festival will showcase the very best of Yorkshire’s regional businesses, with particular spotlight on thriving industry sectors. Leeds will host another main hub of festival activity, while festival events will also take place in York and Harrogate.

Organisers are striving to capitalise on the global appeal of Le Tour to promote the opportunities to visit and do business in Yorkshire, and deliver commercial benefits stretching far beyond the Stage 2 finish line in Sheffield on July 6th.

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:

“The eyes of the world will be watching Le Tour, and the Festival provides a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate on a global stage the strength of Yorkshire and UK business in terms of creativity, quality and world-class manufacturing.

“The festival will also be an opportunity for Yorkshire firms to get support and advice from UKTI’s expert advisors on how to get their exports into a higher gear.”

Sheffield’s packed programme of events includes an international matchmaking event organised by the European Enterprise Network involving sports technology companies from around the world and a Medical Futures Symposium organised by Medilink, who work with businesses, clinicians and academia to forge Healthcare and Life Sciences collaborations, an increasingly significant sector within the local economy.

The festival will also see a 48 hour ‘Gamejam’ to provide a novel platform for regional game developers to demonstrate their innovative ideas and creative flair.

In addition there will be an extensive Trade Expo and Global Networking Lounge, and the Chamber of Commerce will use the Festival venue for the Annual Conference for Growth.

Mark Robson, Regional Director of UKTI, is urging the business community to embrace and support the festival. He said:

“The Grand Depart provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership that has put local companies at the forefront of the global race. We’re determined to deliver a flagship business spectacle befitting the arrival of the world’s largest annual sporting event.

“Many local companies already have plans in place to bring clients or potential customers over for the race, and there will be unique opportunities to network and gain expert insight. That is the foundations of the legacy programme we are striving to deliver.”

Brendan Moffett, Director of Marketing Sheffield, one of the key festival delivery partners, said:

This event offers a unique opportunity to showcase Sheffield’s impressive capabilities to potential global customers. We urge businesses to come forward and promote their expertise or use the Festival for client meetings”

As part of the launch a small number of innovative Yorkshire businesses were presented as examples of existing international export success stories in the region, this included Sheffield company Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd, a high performance engineering design business.

Mike Maddock, Managing Director of Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd said:

“We strongly believe that collaborative working has been one of the keys to our success and want to raise awareness that SME owners should realise the huge business potentials that exporting can offer. We sell our services internationally through a virtual approach utilising all the tools available to us to communicate globally.

“The Grand Depart festival is very much a collaborative initiative in itself, so it’s fantastic to be involved on a local and regional
level, but equally it’s too good an opportunity to miss out on.

“We see this as a gateway into further international collaborations and future success for our business by showcasing what we and our partners have to offer and that the region is a world leader in engineering and performance technology. The Tour de France and the lead up to the event will be our shop window to the word”

Further details on all of the events visit