Appeal to Businesses for Support as Date Revealed for Bradford’s Super Soapbox Challenge 2023

BRADFORD’S hugely popular and successful soapbox racing spectacular is to return next year.

Organisers of the Super Soapbox Challenge have confirmed that the thrilling, fun-packed event will take place on Sunday, April 30, in the city centre.

And they are offering local businesses a chance to get in on the action by sponsoring some of the exciting activities.

An estimated 17,000 people watched this year’s action-packed cart races, which were commissioned and sponsored by the Bradford Business Improvement District (BID).

The full-day free event saw 21 teams competing in their whacky and wonderful creations across a 350-metre downhill course lined with straw bales, safety fencing and huge crowds.

The event gave a big boost to the city centre economy with hospitality businesses reporting a “rip-roaring” trade, with some even selling out of produce, and Bradford BID footfall cameras showed a 59 per cent week-on-week increase in visitors to the city centre.

The Broadway shopping centre said they had 10,000 more visitors than on a normal Sunday.

Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble said: “There’s no doubt our first Super Soapbox Challenge was a great way to bring people together in the city centre which is, of course, good for business – in fact, some said they’d had their best ever Sunday trading figures.

“It really captured the imagination of the public. As well as the big crowds we had some amazing feedback; people really enjoyed the event and we had loads of great messages from people thanking us for staging it.”

Douglas Stewart, head of operations at Tiffin Sandwiches Ltd, said: “The Super Soapbox Challenge was a fantastic day for everyone – it was amazing to see the city buzz with excitement and so many people coming out to support such a brilliant event. This really helped the businesses in the area just after the pandemic and was a real boost for the city with both The City Vaults and Tiffin Coffee experiencing busier than usual Sundays!

“The event brought a diverse range of attendees and was great to see so many families in the city centre. The highlight of the day by far was seeing people enjoy watching the Bradford City AFC cart crash.” 

Ryan Sparks, CEO at Bradford City, added: “The event was fantastic and provided a great advert for the city of Bradford, which had a wonderful, positive impact. We certainly made our ‘mark’ in the competition and will be looking to certainly go one – if not 15 – better in 2023! 

“We would urge as many Bradford businesses as possible to get involved in the 2023 Soapbox Challenge and get behind what is a hugely worthwhile and thoroughly entertaining event for our district.”

Preparations are now under way for next year’s event but the BID – the limited not-for-profit company funded by more than 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations to help promote and develop the city centre – says it needs help from local businesses to ensure it happens.

“This year the BID were able to support the staging of the event because of some one-off external grant funding but if it is to be staged again, it will need more businesses to step forward with sponsorship,” said Mr Noble.

Andrew Pearson, events marketing director at the organisers, The Super Soapbox Challenge Company, said: “It was a really great event this year with some excellent entries and a fantastic crowd.

“People loved it and, as well as being good for businesses, we were able to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

“But it also costs many thousands of pounds to stage a well-organised, safe and exciting event and we can’t do it without help. It’s completely free for people to watch and enjoy but that means we have to raise support funding from businesses.

“Some people have already said they want to be involved again and we’re really pleased that Vodafone, who sponsored the finish, are so keen they’ve already said they’re coming back!

“And we’ve even had new teams, who weren’t involved last year, registering to enter their own soapbox barely before the dust has settled on the last event!”

A variety of sponsorship packages are available and any business or organisation interested in supporting the event is asked to contact Andrew Pearson on 07885 944478 or e-mail andrew@supersoapboxchallenge.co.uk.

Businesses can put their name to winners’ trophies and medals, the start ramp, course barrier banners, pit stop areas, see their advertisement or movie on the big screens located at the start and finish lines and more! Some sponsorship packages include free team entries and all sponsors have access to the VIP area.

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