Council aims to boost value of Great South Run to Portsmouth

The Bupa Great South Run
The Bupa Great South Run
Cllr Stephen Morgan, MP

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IT PUMPED millions into Portsmouth’s economy last year. Now plans are under way to ensure this year’s Bupa Great South Run will become even more of an economic success.

A report produced on behalf of event organisers Nova International after last time revealed it brought in £3.3m worth of benefits to the region.

The calculations were made on the back of a study carried out by Bluegrass Research on behalf of Nova, with runners who took part.

Participants were asked about how much money they spent in Portsmouth during their stay and the number of spectators they brought in from outside the area.

Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, praised the findings and hoped even more would be done to boost the profile of the event.

‘This is a success story,’ he said.

‘I have been talking to the council for so long about the economic benefit being £1m, when in fact it’s more than £3m.

‘The event has been extensively extended and it’s vital to the city.’

The results showed more than four in five runners were from outside areas, which amounts to 15,437 people, and one third of them stayed overnight in the city.

More than 32,000 visitors came to support them and a quarter of them also stayed and spent money.

On the back of the findings, Portsmouth City Council wants to work with Nova to see how it can be broadcast on TV to an even bigger audience in the future.

It’s already televised to countries around the globe, but it’s hoped publicity will stretch to even more places internationally.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the weekend spectacle, which is made up of mini races for youngsters as well as 5k and 10 mile runs.

Labour opposition spokesman on culture, Cllr David Horne, said the organisers should think about switching TV coverage of the event from Channel Five to a station watched by more viewers.

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