|Weekend to be proud of for Wigan Borough, says council leader
Community events at the weekend showed off the best of Wigan borough according to its council leader.
Wigan Pride 2017 and the first Leigh Community 10k highlighted the very best of the borough, said Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council.
The events also showed the importance of volunteers to enable successful community events to be organised and take place, said Lord Smith.
“The weekend’s events gave so many people a reason to be proud of Wigan Borough," said Lord Smith.
“Wigan Pride 2017 was a huge success with the parade and presence of Sir Ian McKellen attracting hundreds of people to Wigan town centre.
“It showcased Wigan as a tolerant and accepting borough as well as enhancing our regional and national reputation as a place which values equality.
“Meanwhile the first Leigh Community 10k was a great success with hundreds of runners from the borough and beyond coming to Leigh.
“It also highlighted the importance of being active and living healthy lifestyles which are key parts of our public health strategy.
“This was a weekend to be proud of Wigan Borough and showed the very best of the borough.”
Wigan Pride was organised by the voluntary BYOU+ group which supports people from the LGBT+ community.
Dozens of volunteers also helped run the Leigh Community 10k safely through marshalling and handing out drinks and medals.
Lord Smith added: “Of course these events could not have taken place without the commitment of volunteers.
"My thanks go to all involved in volunteering to organise and ensure the events take place safely especially Zak, Jess and Daniel from the BYOU+ group for all their hard work in organising Pride.
“With the reduction of funding for councils volunteers are now more important than ever and we are pleased that through The Deal volunteers are now successfully running great events, such as Wigan Pride 2017."
Lord Smith attended the same secondary school at the same time as Ian McKellen and had a chat with him at Wigan Pride.
Lord Smith said: “Sir Ian did a fantastic job for Wigan Pride, entertaining a packed house at the Old Courts on Friday evening and walking in the procession on Saturday greeting spectators as he walked. He showed he’s not just a great actor but a caring human being and a role model for all our young people.”
Organisations involved in putting on the Leigh Community 10k included Inspiring healthy lifestyles, Leigh Harriers, FCR Events, Time2Run Events and the Rotary Club of Leigh with the chosen charity Wigan and Leigh Hospice.