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EXCLUSIVE: Threat to Wirral's world-famous Egg Run fundraiser
WIRRAL'S famous Egg Run could be scrapped next year as essential sponsorship cash dries up.
The annual event, which raises much-needed donations for children's charities each year, is under threat after funding disappeared.
Thousands of bikers descend on New Brighton promenade every year, with riders coming from across the country to take to the roads to deliver Easter eggs to sick youngsters at Clatterbridge Hospital.
However the 2013 Egg Run now faces cancellation as local companies tighten their belts on sponsorship while Wirral Council could pull the plug on its usual contribution.
And organisers are making a last-ditch attempt to call on generous business owners to help out in any way they can to reach the sponsorship target of £20,000.
Egg Run charity trustee and former New Brighton councillor Sue Taylor said this is the committee’s final plea for cash.
She said: "We had a big meeting last week where we were told that unless we get the main sponsors for 2013 then it’s going to have to be cancelled, which will mean no Egg Run for the first time in more than 30 years.
"It is a huge event for Wirral and is looked forward to by a lot of people every year so it would be a massive shame if it didn’t go ahead.
"Everyone is feeling the pinch at the moment and the council pulling their contribution has affected us greatly but it is understandable."
The Egg Run sees riders travel along a 20-mile route through Wirral via Wallasey, Moreton, Hoylake, West Kirby, Heswall and Thornton Hough, finishing at Clatterbridge Hospital.
But the event, which has raised more than £75,000 for local causes, has grown so much in scale that it now requires meticulous planning and a costly traffic management system.
It means the initial bill can come in between £15-20,000 before any charitable funding is raised and Sue is hoping people will dig deep to lend a hand.
She said: "So far, we only have £5,000 for next year so we have a long way to go but it is still possible. Local businesses benefit greatly from the event with spectators and riders calling in along the route so it would lovely if they could give something back.
"The last thing anyone wants is for the Egg Run to be scrapped completely but if it doesn’t go ahead in 2013, then we hope it will spur people on to get involved the following year and it will also give us a chance to review how we go about our fundraising."
Wirral Council’s chief executive Graham Burgess said: "Some difficult decisions will have to be made in the coming weeks and months about the services Wirral Council provides, due to reductions in Wirral’s government grant and unfunded growth.
"The tourism and visitor events budget forms part of one option, which could lead to a saving of £95,000.
"The organisers of the Wirral Egg Run have, from time-to-time, bid to receive sponsorship from this fund.
"I'd like to stress again that no decisions have been taken on any of the budget options identified.
"I would urge everyone to answer the consultation, and to take this opportunity to shape the services they receive."
To find out more about how to sponsor the Egg Run, contact Sue on 07736 927 201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org