Businesses in and around Tenby are continuing to voice their opposition to the early-September date of Ironman Wales 2023, despite new concessions being offered by the event organisers.

Nearly 100 businesspeople put their names to a petition calling for the massive one-day triathlon to be scrapped this year because of the effect that the date of Sunday September 3 would have on trade.

This will be the earliest date in the month on which Ironman Wales will be staged, and there are fears it would put huge pressure on the infrastructure of Tenby on one of the busiest weekends of the year after the August bank holiday.

A spokesman for Ironnan Wales said the concerns of residents and business owners were being taken ‘veriy seriously’.

He confirmed that the 2023 date is to be Sunday September 3, but added: “We take the concerns of the local residents and business owners very seriously, and having discussed with Pembrokeshire County Council, we have agreed that next year’s race will take place later than usual, on Sunday 22nd September 2024.”

In relation to the concerns voiced about this year’s date, he continued: “In the run up to race weekend, we will be working with Pembrokeshire and Tenby Town councils on how we can promote local businesses and their offering for athletes ahead of race week.

“We are also already working closely with the council to explore ways that we can minimise disruption for locals and holiday goers alike.

“For example, the event village build schedule has been pushed back to avoid the bank holiday, and we are exploring more parking locations with the council, as well as continuing to run our park and ride service from Carew Airfield throughout the event weekend.

“Registration will also open later than usual (on Friday, not Thursday) to help minimize pressure in town on days leading up to the event, while also allowing holiday makers and athletes more opportunity to support local business and enjoy the festivities in town.

“As always, we cannot wait to welcome athletes back to Tenby and Pembrokeshire for what we know is always guaranteed to be an incredible day of racing.”

A spokesman for the businesses said: “On the 3rd September 2023, Ironman will break its long-term commitment to the businesses of Tenby whereby it agreed it would not hold the event within the six week summer holiday period.

Over 90 businesses predominantly located within Tenby town walls and Tenby Town Council have expressed their deep concern and asked for the date to be moved or the event cancelled.

“ We were advised Ironman had previously contracted an event in Weymouth on 17th September which made the 3rd September the only possible date to hold Ironman Wales.

“The 3rd September was agreed by an officer of Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) without consultation.

“We have held substantive negotiations with Ironman and PCC.

“PCC advise they are not in a position to change the event date. Ironman have chosen not to change the event date they have contracted with PCC, even though this was possible, not because of tide times, not because of participant safety but because a change of date would have affected their gross income for the event and cause reputational damage.

“The methods outlined by Ironman to mitigate their actions and the loss of hundreds of thousands to local businesses will have little effect and are purely designed to enhance their own media profile in this unmitigated disaster.”

This from a company with turnover of many millions which pays very little in UK tax and in receipt of substantial grants from the precept of our own local authority.”