Boundary 500 Motorcycle Santa Ride to continue after 'productive discussions' with Cleveland Police

The annual Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group Santa Ride attracts crowds of up to 100,000 people and raises around £30,000 a year for Teesside's baby hospice
-Credit: (Image: Karen Harland Photography)

A much-loved annual Santa ride is set to continue following uncertainty over its future.

Boundary 500 Motorcycle Club has held the 22-mile Santa ride for 17 years with the help of a police motorcycle escort - but were stunned when Cleveland Police said it would be "unable to assist" with the vehicle "this year and going forward".

Organisers previously said they felt they had no choice but to cancel the event. However, following "very productive discussions" with Cleveland Police they say they now feel able to progress with plans for the 2024 Santa ride.

In a statement, Brian Laverick, the founder of the event - which attracts crowds of up to 100,000 people - said: "Following very productive discussions with Cleveland Police representatives we now feel we are happy to progress with our plans for this year's Santa run. This is especially the case as we continue with their support.

"We are happy to be back on course and lucky to have such support. We have without exception always enjoyed a good relationship with Cleveland Police and continue to do so. We have had a very clear commitment from them to the event."

Cleveland Police told Teesside Live they will continue to support the organisers by providing advice and guidance on how they can best stage a safe and successful event. However, they stressed responsibility for public safety and compliance with relevant legislation rests with organisers of events, owners of the land on which it takes place, and the local authority if the event takes place on a road.

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: "In certain circumstances, event organisers can ask for police resources to help manage an event. There are many competing demands on police resources and we must ensure that we carefully manage those resources, recognising that our functions are delivered using public money.

"For this reason, if, having taken advice from the Safety Advisory Group the organisers of the Santa Run wish to request police resources in support of the event then, as discussed during our recent meeting, we will absolutely consider that request.

"However, as with other public sector organisations, it is only right that we seek cost recovery in line with nationally set guidance. This ensures that the public receives value for money and that the delivery of wider police services are not disrupted."

The event is planned to take place on November 30 and supports Zoe's Place Baby Hospice. The hospice benefits to the tune of around £30,000 a year from the event.

For breaking news in your area direct to your inbox every day, go here to sign up to our free newsletter