THE Isle of Wight Council has been left £350,000 out of pocket after the last leg of the elite Tour of Britain cycling event was cancelled.

The race was supposed to take place on September 11 last year but was pulled two days before, following the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Island agreed to host the final leg of the Tour of Britain in 2020, with the intention to hold it in 2021.

However, due to the Covid pandemic, the race was pushed back 12 months.

To host the event, the Isle of Wight Council had to pay £250,000 to the organisers SweetSpot.

The authority also incurred further costs, however, that were not covered by the organisers — including road closure orders, marketing and public relations.

Some fees were able to be recouped but due to the last-minute cancellation, the council still had to pay £100,000.

Some sponsorship agreements to cover costs had been agreed but they fell away when the event did not take place.

By hosting the Tour of Britain, it was thought the Island would make around £4 million by attracting more people.

Some monetary benefits had been identified, the council said, even though the event was cancelled.

In the contract between the Isle of Wight Council and SweetSpot, in the case of an extraordinary event beyond the control of either party — known as 'Force Majeure' — the council would be entitled to a refund of the host venue fees after real costs had been deducted.

The authority says the company was suitably insured to allow for this to happen.

However, the council said it was 'made clear' by SweetSpot from the outset 'it would not be in a position to refund any of the money'.

Discussions have continued and the authority says it has been agreed a sum would be provided against a future cycling event on the Island.

SweetSpot has been contacted to ask why the money cannot be returned.

The Isle of Wight Council's corporate scrutiny committee will be considering the matter further at its meeting next Tuesday (January 10).