A NORTH EAST pub is putting the wheels in motion to celebrate the New Year and raise money for those in need at the same time.

The annual Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race will return on 1 January 2020, beginning and ending at The Blackbird.

And funds raised from entry fees, street collections and sponsorships will be split between Gosforth-based St Oswald’s Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home, to help people with life-limiting illnesses.

Supporters are invited to join the fun by cheering on competitors during the race and they can also make the most of The Blackbird’s outdoor barbecue, with food served from 11am to 8pm.

Stuart Young, of Northumberland Pub Co, which owns The Blackbird, hopes to see a big turnout.

“The race is not only a lot of fun for everyone involved, but also raises money for two really deserving causes,” said Stuart.

“We’re delighted to be involved for another year and the fun doesn’t end when the race does, so we hope people will stick around and make a day of it.”

The race is about one mile in length and is organised by Ponteland 41 Club and supported by Ponteland Rugby Club.

Philip Peacock, chair of Ponteland 41 Club, believes the event is a fantastic way to start the new year.

“The Wheelbarrow Race has been running successfully for many years and is growing in support every year,” said Philip.

“We are indebted to all those who give up their time to help on New Year’s Day and we hope this will continue with the 2020 race.

Entry costs £10 per team for adults and £5 per team for children.

Registration for the Wheelbarrow Race can be done on the day or in advance and a form can be downloaded from https://theblackbirdponteland.co.uk/assets/menus/Ponteland-Wheelbarrow-Race-Entry-Form-2020.pdf

The Blackbird will also be hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration on 31 December, serving its restaurant menu alongside entertainment from a DJ, sax and percussion and a firework display.

For more information, or to book, visit www.theblackbirdponteland.co.uk