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'Positve talks' held on future of Bradford City Run
Bradford Council and the district’s running clubs have held “positive talks” in a bid to make the City Run more sustainable in the future.
Council chiefs revealed they were exploring options to make the run more “self-funding” and were hoping to make an announcement before the end of the month to launch this year’s event.
In early February, the Telegraph & Argus reported that the future of the City Run was in jeopardy as the Council looked at ways to save cash – despite the event costing 50 per cent less than it did when created in 2009.
Since then, the Council has held its annual budget meeting and has earmarked £40,000 to ensure this year’s event goes ahead, although that figure is much lower than the £97,000 it forked out in 2009 when the City Run first took place.
A further Freedom of Information request by the Telegraph & Argus has provided a detailed breakdown of the event’s costs in previous years, showing that a large percentage of the event’s budget had been spent on marketing.
The figures show that £58,000 went on marketing the event during the last three years.
The Council has defended that figure, even though some critics, including veteran runner Ronnie Bowes, who organised Bradford marathons in the 1980s, believe the run would cost nothing if organisers relied on sponsorship and goodwill from big companies.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, the executive member on Bradford Council responsible for sport, defended the costs and said the Council was always looking to get best value for money.
He also revealed that the Council was in talks with running clubs to hold the run, and make it more sustainable.
“Obviously we want to make sure we get the best value for anything we do in relation to the City Run,” he said.
“One thing in terms of marketing is big up-front costs such as signs we can re-use in following years – things like pop-up banners that we can produce one year and use the next.
“We have had some very positive talks with local running clubs about involving them and they have come forward with really good suggestions.
“We want to find a way to make it much more self-funding.”
Tony Kingham, from the Bingley Harriers, has said that the run was very important for Bradford.
“A lot of people run in that race and Bradford should have a big run,” he said.
“I would have thought they could get enough volunteers to help with marshaling the event.
“I think it is important to showcase the city centre.”
The run was originally created in 2009 when more than 1,000 people took part.