Green light for parkrun on the Links

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ORGANISERS of a series of fun runs are celebrating after being given the green light to proceed with a regular event in Whitley Bay.

Efforts had been taking place over the last few weeks to establish a Whitley Bay parkrun every Saturday morning along the Links.

Initial efforts to set up the three-mile event had been left in the starting blocks after North Tyneside Council said planning permission was required.

The local authority had offered organisers a six-week trial.

But following discussions between the local authority and the organising committee, the parkrun will now go ahead – with the first event anticipated to take place on Saturday, June 16, the day after the Olympic Torch relay is carried through the town.

Whitley Bay resident Heather Gould, chairman of the organising committee and a member of North Shields Polytechnic Running Club, had been backed by local residents, Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell and other parkrun committees in their campaign to bring it to the town.

She said: “We’re absolutely delighted with this.

“The residents of Whitley Bay will benefit from this activity.

“We don’t know why the council have done a turnaround, we’re just so happy they have approved it.

“We’d like to thank Mrs Arkley for listening to what we had to say, hopefully she can come and start our first event.”

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “I’m pleased to announce that a weekly parkrun will go ahead.

“I wish the organisers the best of luck with this initiative.

“I hope that the many people who have expressed a desire to get involved in the parkrun have an enjoyable experience on the Links.”

Since being launched in London in 2004, parkrun, a not-for-profit network of committees organising runs in parks and other public places, has become an international success, attracting hundreds of entrants every Saturday.