A PRUDHOE running advocate is appealing for £100,000 to pay for for a new all-weather footpath to help the local running community.

Founder of Prudhoe Plodders and Prudhoe Parkrun, Holly Kelleher has been told to raise the money after Northumberland County Council approved her proposal for a 500m continuous path around Eastwood Park in West Wylam.

The running group volunteer set up a petition in October 2018 and received the support of 274 people before it closed in December last year.

She said: “Since forming the Junior Prudhoe Plodders running club we have been overwhelmed with the amount of members, but can’t find a permanent home to run.

“We need a well-lit enclosed space which includes a 500m continuous path for running as there’s currently no track facilities in Prudhoe.The footpath could be used for anyone – not just the runners.”

Tynedale councillors approved Holly’s request for a new footpath to form a circular route around the football pitches and follows the full perimeter of the park.

However Northumberland County Council’s countryside and green Spaces manager, Mike Jeffrey, said the project could cost £100,000 and the council did not currently have the funds available.

The running club have received significant backing from Prudhoe Youth Charity after receiving a £3,000 donation to pay for the coaching qualifications of seven athletics coaches, as well as grant support for equipment and temporary lights.

The scheme also has the backing of local councillors Gordon Stewart and Anne Dale as well as the countryside and green spaces manager Mike Jeffrey, and Holly is now appealing to local investors to help fund the project.

Coun. Stewart said: “As a local councillor I wholeheartedly support this and lots of people in Prudhoe are behind this scheme to make it happen.

“Eastwood Park is over 100 years old and should be enjoyed by so many people who live in Prudhoe or wish to visit.

“After many years of neglect things are taking shape and it’s great to see energetic volunteers with a clear vision working together to make a big difference.”

Holly hopes the path will help kick-start the the running clubs’ future prospects.

“It’s just the first step along the way and we think we could make a good athletics club on the basis of this,” she said.

“We hope to raise the aspirations of Prudhoe, West Wylam and beyond. Who’s to say we don’t have the next athletics stars on our doorstep.”