Businesses across the Keighley district are being urged to gear up for the Tour de France.

Representatives of about 60 firms attended an event, hosted by Barclays, where they were encouraged to make the most of the opportunities the world-famous cycle race will bring.

Among those supporting the call is Cullingworth woman Sandra Corcoran, who with her husband Paul runs Pennine Cycles in Bradford.

She said: “As someone who attends the race each year, I can’t stress enough what a massive opportunity this is for all Yorkshire businesses.

“They need to start thinking creatively of how they can use the Tour colours and bring the race into their business plans.

“A confectioner’s can perhaps make bicycle-shaped biscuits with yellow icing, a bed and breakfast or cafe could decorate using Tour colours, an opticians could stock yellow sunglasses, garden centres yellow flowers, jewellers could think about bicycle-shaped charms and jewellery – the list is endless!”

Several million visitors are expected to descend on the region when the Tour de France Grand Depart arrives next summer. The race passes through Silsden, Keighley and the Worth Valley on July 6. Helen Clarke, Barclays’ business banking area manager for Leeds and Bradford, said: “Planning ahead is the key to any successful business and all Yorkshire businesses should be reviewing their plans right now for 2014.

“We are working hard to ensure all our customers make the most of this fantastic opportunity, which will showcase Yorkshire to 190 countries around the world. We’ll never get a better opportunity to show the world just how great Yorkshire is.”