‘Business will be booming’ – South Shields politicians and business owners react to the return of the Great North Run
MP Emma Lewell-Buck, South Tyneside Council leader Cllr Tracey Dixon and Coleman’s Seafood Temple owner, Richard Ord Jnr have welcomed the news that the Great North Run will finish in South Shields in 2022.
As the ballot for the 2022 Great North Run opened on Monday, January 10, founder Sir Brendan Foster expressed his delight that the iconic half marathon will finish in South Shields for the first time since 2019.
The decision was unpopular among many South Tyneside residents as it meant that a lot of businesses, which were already struggling due to the pandemic, were further impacted.
The Member of Parliament for South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck, will be running the half marathon this year and she highlighted that the event didn’t have the same feel to it last year.
She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, people were gutted last year and we understood why it couldn’t end there.
"I was at the finishing line last year and it just didn’t have the same feel as it does when it ends in South Shields, this is its home, this is where it ends and for me, it is always one of the best days for South Shields.
"It shows my town and the people of my town in the best light, it is an emotional day and coming out of Covid, it gives all of our hospitality the boost that is needed.”
Leader of South Tyneside Council, Cllr Tracey Dixon, is expecting the crowds to turn out and support the runners as they make their way through South Tyneside in September.
She added: “We’re absolutely delighted and also delighted that the launch has been in South Shields for the ballot.
"Obviously we understand the reasons why last year it had to be Newcastle based but from South Tyneside’s perspective, it gives the opportunity for the runners to feel what it is all about to end in South Shields.
"We have some fantastic residents in this borough and they’ll be there cheering the runners on and then when they come along the seafront, the finishing line is absolutely tremendous.”
He commented: “It is amazing, to miss it because of Covid and then not have it last year, having it back is absolutely brilliant for the borough.
"Not only for the local economy but for the people of South Shields, I think the people of Shields are very proud of the Great North Run finishing here so it is good for it to be back.
"Business will be booming, it will be fantastic for restaurants, bars, guest houses, all the local amenities but I think with it not being here last year, it will be twice as busy with people wanting to really make an event of it.”