Beach Race contract collapses

THE contract to run Weston’s annual motorcycle beach race will be retendered – because the firm which won the original bidding cannot secure a licence.

Earlier this year, the Mercury reported how Events 22 had successfully bid for a contract to run the popular autumn enduro.

The firm’s bid had undercut previous event organiser Gareth Hockey, whose firm RHL Activities lost out in the tendering process.

However, conditions stipulated that any successful bidder would need to be accredited by a designated motorsports watchdog – and Events 22 has been unable to secure such a licence.

The failure to win a licence was first highlighted by the Mercury two months ago, but Events 22 failed to answer our questions, while North Somerset Council would only say it was committed to making the event happen.

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This effectively meant Events 22’s bid has collapsed, and the council has today been forced to admit it will re-advertise the event to interested parties.

Executive member Felicity Baker said: “Following a tender process last December a preferred organiser, Events 22, was chosen to run the event.

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“The tender document specified that the organiser needed to be licensed by a recognised organisation that affiliates to the Federation of International Motorcyclists (FIM).

“For reasons best known to themselves, it appears that the Auto Cycle Union (affiliated to the FIM) is unlikely to grant a licence to Events 22 which means they cannot fulfil the terms of the original tender.

So we have decided to re-tender and to ensure fair treatment of all possible bidders we are revising the requirement about the running of the event. Instead of restricting this to bodies affiliated to the FIM the requirement will apply to any appropriate recognised motorcycle body.

“This opens the opportunity to run the event to a wider market while ensuring that the organiser provides a safe and enjoyable event.

“We recognise that this is a prestige event with participants and spectators coming from far and wide bringing considerable financial benefits to the area and we are committed to supporting an event on the beach at Weston this October.”

The closing date for tenders is June 6 and the council hopes to announce its preferred bidder by the middle of June.

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