The organisation: New Marske Harriers is a registered charity with the mission to promote community participation in healthy recreation for the benefit of those living in Redcar and Cleveland and its neighbouring boroughs through the provision of facilities for athletics. Sofia's Fund has now provided two grants to support the two phases of the lighting project which perfectly aligns to the charity's mission. As well as providing a facility for runners, it will also prove to have a benefit beyond athletics as walkers, cyclists and the wider community will also be able to enjoy the illuminated pathway.
The initiative: At a time when there is a strong push to encourage everyone to take more exercise either by active travel to work or leisure activities, it is important that they can do so in a safe environment and importantly, that they feel secure.
With this in mind, New Marske Harriers sought funds initially for Phase 1 (the sea wall section) of the initiative to install Solareye low-level lighting in a pathfinder formation along the Marske to Redcar coastal path creating an illuminated 2.5km circular route. A subsequent request - also approved - was received to undertake Phase 2 (the roadside section).
This initiative specifically allows runners and cyclists to use the path even in the darker winter months, but will also provide benefit to the wider community. The way the lights have been designed and installed will help users to navigate a path between two lines of light and remain a safe distance from the edges. The solution has also been designed to benefit the partially-sighted, allowing them to exercise away from the roadside, where car headlight glare can cause temporary total loss of sight.
This community project provides an important missing link between Redcar and Marske, in terms of illuminating a path that is part of the borough’s cycle route network.
The two lots of funds provided by Sofia will supplement grants provided by Redcar & Cleveland Council, which is also managing the procurement, New Marske Harriers themselves and from England Athletics.
January / May 2023