Gary Barlow writes Yorkshire musical

130352n  Gary Barlow entertains at The Futurist Theatre. Picture by Richard Ponter
130352n Gary Barlow entertains at The Futurist Theatre. Picture by Richard Ponter

It was not just cycling that was the focus at the Y15 conference.

A number of other projects and events designed to bring visitors and money into the county were announced.

The most exciting moment in Scarborough’s Spa Grand Hall was when it was announced that Gary Barlow would be writing a musical based on the Calendar Girls.

The Take That singer has composed the music and lyrics for the show based on the story of the Yorkshire women who bared all for a WI fundraiser and became a global sensation in the process.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “To have someone of Gary Barlow’s calibre working on a Yorkshire musical is amazing and I am sure, like the Calendar Girls film and the stage play, this musical will be a huge success.

“We’ve talked for several years about Yorkshire’s potential as a county and as a destination – and now our collective ambitions and dreams are becoming a reality.

“There must be millions of people around the world who now know of Yorkshire who didn’t a couple of years ago – we’re firmly front of mind. Our ground-breaking work builds on that and together we will cement Yorkshire’s place on the world stage as a visitor destination.”

The musical will be officially launched near the Calendar Girls’ home in Burnsall in the Yorkshire Dales.

Welcome to Yorkshire also announced that its garden design for RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been accepted.

Designed by Lee Bestall, it will feature a microbrewery theme and will highlight not only the great gardens in the county but also the impressive range of micro breweries when it goes on display at the prestigious garden show in May.

Mr Bestall told the Scarborough crowd that a local business had inspired his creation.

He said: “I went for a visit to the Wold Top Brewery and from there that helped create our entry.” Other initiatives to promote the county included a new international marketing campaign, part of the GREAT campaign, working closely with Visit Britain to promote Yorkshire in the run-up to the Tour de Yorkshire, particularly in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

A new film to promote the county and the new international cycle race was also premiered at the Y 15 event, featuring breathtaking aerial footage of iconic locations, including Scarborough, Whitby, Malton, Pickering and Bridlington – building on Welcome to Yorkshire’s innovative use of film to promote the county as a “must see” destination for visitors from within the UK and overseas.