18th May, 2021

Runaway success puts Wythall event on hold

Redditch Editorial 30th Sep, 2017

THE new Wythall parkrun has been put on hold – because it’s been so successful.

The inaugural run in Wythall Park last week attracted a stunning 354 runners keen to try out the new course.

However, numbers were so great fears have been raised over the ability of the park to support such a field of runners on a weekly basis.

It has led to the venture being put on hold while the local authority, Bromsgrove District Council, tries to find a solution with Wythall Community Association, which runs the park.

Keen runner and local County Councillor Adam Kent said: “It’s extremely disappointing.

“This is exactly the kind of event the park should be used for and we need to support it. To see everyone taking part in the first Wythall parkrun, especially so many children, was absolutely brilliant.

“The park has received a lot of public money, including £27,500 from the New Homes Bonus for new showers.

“What is the point of having them if not for events like this?”

John Godwin, the head of leisure services at both Redditch Borough Council and Bromsgrove district, said: “More than 350 people turned up for the initial trial of parkrun in Wythall Park, a completely unprecedented number, and so we’re conscious of the ramifications if such an event were to be held regularly at a small local park.

“There are questions in terms of wear and tear before we even start to consider the capacity issues that would face the local community association.

“Not least because the park has to generate its own income from the lettings of its facilities.

“We’ll be looking at options because there’s clearly more appetite for it. It’s a good kind of problem to have, but it has to sustainable.”

A spokesperson for the community association said: “We want the parkrun organisers to contact us, via Bromsgrove District Council, so we can find a solution where the event will be sustainable long-term.”

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