Biker calls for free use of venues for good causes

Annual Bike Toy Run, Meres Leisure Centre. 966B
Annual Bike Toy Run, Meres Leisure Centre. 966B
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CHARITABLE causes should be exempt from paying venue hire fees, says the founder of the annual biker toy and Easter egg runs.

But South Kesteven District Council says it cannot afford to let its facilities free of charge.

John Bartlett has organised the Nottingham Triumph Owners’ Motorcycle Club runs for the last 22 years, and believes the £70 hourly fee to use The Meres Leisure Centre is wrong when the event is for a good cause.

He said: “It’s a big charity event and generates a lot of goodwill in the town. We’ll have to pay it out of the bucket donations we get for the Air Ambulance and Home-Start.”

Paul Stokes, SKDC head of community assets, said he would like to help all charities but it is not possible.

He said: “If we let one charity use the venue for free, it wouldn’t be fair unless we did it for all of them, and we can’t.”

Mr Stokes added that the fees cover the costs, and that SKDC does not make a hefty profit.