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BAE Systems supports Barrow’s pioneering soapbox challenge

Clockwise from left: Barrow BID Manager Colin Garnett, apprentice Nathan Chapples, Senior Management Advisor Corporate Social Responsibility Neil Doherty and apprentice Kadir Dere (seated)

English ski-jumping legend Eddie the Eagle Edwards will lead teams from across Furness when the spectacular Barrow Super Soapbox Challenge comes to town.

Sponsored by BAE Systems, the inaugural event will be held on Saturday 29th June at 10am and will see all manner of vehicles take to the course along Dalton Road in Barrow town centre.

Organised by Barrow Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with the Super Soapbox Challenge Company, a professional organiser of soapbox races in the UK, the event will see Eddie the Eagle start racing as he launches himself down a two-storey ramp to tackle the town centre course.

The Barrow BID was set up in September 2016 to promote and regenerate Barrow’s town centre following a vote of town centre businesses in the summer of 2016.

Teams, including a group of apprentices from BAE Systems, have spent weeks designing their vehicles.

Neil Doherty and Colin Garnett

Neil Doherty, BAE System’s Corporate Social Responsibility manager, said: “This project has really fired up peoples’ imagination and I’m delighted that we’re able to support the Super Soapbox Challenge.”

He threw down the gauntlet to other teams adding: “With over a hundred years of engineering experience I think our apprentice team are the ones to beat!”

Support by BAE Systems means teams of 5 individuals, charities, BID Levy payers and armed forces can enter a team for £100 and businesses can enter for £200. To take part enter online www.supersoapboxxhallenge.co.uk/barrow

Colin Garnett of Barrow BID said: “It’s a real coup to get Eddie the Eagle to come to town and the spectacle of soapbox vehicles speeding around town is bound to be a draw.”

A similar event in York attracted over 20,000 visitors and helped raise almost £60,000 for charities. It’s hoped the event in Barrow will also benefit charities in and around Furness.

Colin added: “We’re hoping to work with partners to create a party atmosphere on the day and surround the competition with other activities for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Every team will get three runs down the course to get their best qualifying time for the finals.

Barrow BID plan to make the Super Soapbox Challenge an annual event in the heart of Barrow with the aim of developing their carts to become Barrow’s Soapbox Champion.

There are also prizes for the best designed cart and best costumes.

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