Cycling and rugby highlights in calendar of events for 2015

A cycling event and a "fanzone" for the Rugby World Cup are among a programme of events.

2012_Tour_of_Britain_Team_SkyA new community cycling event and a "fanzone" for the Rugby World Cup are among a programme of outdoor events being planned in 2015.

The Velocity cycling event - proposed for Madeira Drive on September 12 next year - will build on the huge popularity of cycling highlighted by this year’s Tour of Britain stage that finished in Brighton and Hove. It will feature amateur-grade races for all ages, rather than professional cyclists, giving the opportunity for local people and visitors to take part. There will also be cycling-themed attractions, displays, and exhibitions.

The Rugby World Cup Fanzone on Madeira Drive from September 18 to 20 will enable people to savour the excitement of the opening weekend of the tournament, for which Brighton and Hove is a host city. The fanzone will screen the opening match between England and Fiji on September 18, the local sold- out matches at the Brighton

Community stadium between South Africa and Japan on September 19 and between Samoa and the United States on September 20 – as well as other games over the weekend. A festival of rugby will be held alongside on Madeira Drive.

The programme of events proposed for parks and open spaces - to be discussed by councillors next week - includes a pop-up comedy and theatre venue on the north lawn of St Peter’s Church as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival in May, Shakedown Music Festival at Waterhall in July, the Sussex Festival of Nature in Stanmer Park in June, and a new 10-mile road race, starting and finishing on Hove Lawns, in October.

RWC2015_HostCity_FC_Brighton_1A meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee on Thursday (November 13) is being recommended to give landlord’s consent to the proposed programme of events in Madeira Drive and the city’s parks and other open spaces next year.

The busy line-up includes regular fixtures on the city’s calendar, such as the Brighton Marathon in April and the Veteran Car Run in November, along with new attractions.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, committee chair, said: “Outdoor events play a major role in attractingvisitorsallyearround, adding to the vibrancy of the city for residents and tourists and making a significant contribution to the local economy."