SUPPORTING this weekend's Newport Marathon event was a “no-brainer”, says the head of the city’s business improvement district (BID).

Newport Now will be an official partner of the ABP Newport Wales Marathon and 10K when it gets underway on what promises to be an historic day on Sunday.

The BID represents more than 400 businesses in the city centre, and is headed by manager Kevin Ward.

Around 10,000 runners are expected to take part, bringing with them thousands more visitors and spectators to the race village and the Friars Walk shopping centre.

Mr Ward said: "Our job is to provide or support services or events that bring people into Newport city centre. The marathon provides businesses in the city centre with a huge opportunity.

"The aim is to show what a great city centre Newport has and how it can meet all the needs of visitors, whether they are shopping, dining or just looking for somewhere to relax over a cup of coffee.”

The inaugural 26.2 mile race is expected to generate around £1.1 million into the local economy, according to race organisers Run 4 Wales.

Mr Ward said that every person in the city could be a “potential customer” for city centre businesses.

“We will be doing everything we can to encourage BID members to come up with special offers for runners and their supporters on the day,” he added.

“Hopefully, many of those who will experience our city centre for the first time on April 29 will find many reasons for return visits.”

The marathon route, which will start and finish on Newport’s riverfront, has been devised by double Olympic marathon runner Steve Brace.

Matt Newman, chief executive of race organisers Run 4 Wales, said: “The Newport Now BID has been at the centre of the city centre’s recent resurgence, and our new partnership will only give local traders an even better platform to showcase the new face of the city.”

Mr Newman added that race entries had “rocketed” since the race launched in October and had “exceeded all expectations”.

“Cardiff has a reputation as a hub for world-class sporting events, but now it is time for Newport to establish itself as an ideal location for elite competition and spectator experience,” he said.

“It is predicted the event will pump around £1.1million into the local economy as nearly 10,000 participants and 20,000 supporters flock to the city.”

For more details about the Newport Now BID, click here.