IT’S the real thing for Morpeth Fair Day as a new sponsor comes on board.
Coca-Cola Enterprises has joined the team behind this year’s event with a £3,000 donation as the main sponsor.
The company, which has a plant at Coopies Lane, stepped into the breach at the 11th hour after previous sponsor Benfield Motors closed its Morpeth operation earlier this year.
Funds were handed over to event organiser the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade earlier this week, but Coca-Cola will also be involved in activities on the day and has agreed to provide its Schweppes Abbey Well water for the fun runners.
Associate Director of Supply Chain Operations at the Morpeth plant Pete Smith said: “As a local business we are always looking for ways to support the community and we are delighted to be associated with Morpeth Fair Day as main sponsor of this year’s event.
“We work closely with the local chamber of trade to assist with its fund-raising initiatives and the team is looking forward to helping out and participating with festivities on the day.”
With Fair Day falling on Sunday, June 10, it is an ideal opportunity for Coca-Cola to spread word of its involvement in the Northumberland Olympic Torch Relay, which will come to Morpeth the following Friday.
The company is one of the three partners involved in the relay, along with Lloyds TSB and Samsung, and will be taking part in the parade as the advance party for the torch.
A number of Olympic-themed activities will be organised for Fair Day itself and Coca-Cola will be involved in various events in the Market Place, including bringing a former Olympic Torch to the festivities.
Chamber of trade Chairman John Beynon said: “When it moved into the town Coca-Cola was very interested in being involved in the community so when Benfield moved out of town, Coca-Cola very kindly said it would like to get involved in Fair Day as the main sponsor, which was fantastic.
“It means we can do everything we normally would for Fair Day. We thought we were going to be £3,000 down, but luckily Coca-Cola has come in and given us that so everything will be as good, if not better, this year.
“Coca-Cola will also be in the Market Place and will be very involved in the day, doing all sorts of things.
“For Coca-Cola to come to Morpeth is fantastic because it is great for the future of the town and it really wants to get involved with the community and help out in Morpeth as much as it can. We are lucky to have this kind of big employer.”
Mr Beynon also thanked local organisations, businesses and members of the public for their support in recent weeks after the traders’ group saw its funds almost wiped out in a suspected theft.
Morpeth Golf Club has agreed to waive the fees for the chamber’s Golf Day fund-raiser this year, worth about £500, while Morpeth Rugby Club has joined the organisation and offered a £200 donation.
“We are so thankful for that support. It is great for local clubs to give us that support and for local businesses, who sometimes struggle for money themselves, to come and offer to help us,” said Mr Beynon.
“More members are applying for the chamber all the time and old members are coming back to try to help. It is great that people on the street and old and new members are so supportive, and the town and county councils are also seeing what they can do.”
Coca-Cola came to Morpeth in 2008 after acquiring Waters and Robson, which produced the famous Abbey Well water.