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Fundraising competition aims to make The Civic, Barnsley a world class destination for culture

Trustee of The Civic, Barnsley, Mark Wilcockson will be running the London Marathon to raise money for the South Yorkshire arts centre’s capital project, #Connect.

Mark and The Civic need the public’s help to win some extra money to go towards the future of this fantastic historic building as Mark is part of a Local Hero competition to win up to an extra £1000.

As a much loved Grade II listed building, The Civic has been part of the town since 1877. It reopened in 2009 but still has a third of the building unfinished and unused. Mark wants to help secure the future of the centre through helping complete an ambitious renovation project over the next 5 years.

The £5m #Connect fundraising campaign aims to open up the whole of The Civic, add a new theatre, café, and extended gallery, and re-open 22,000 sq ft creating a wow-factor. Its ambition is to become a world-class destination for the arts by 2023.

Through running the London Marathon 2019, Mark wants to raise over £1000 towards the appeal. 

Mark is currently undergoing a 17 week training programme that commenced on New Years Day with a 3.1 mile run. Over the course of the training it should see him complete over 500 training miles, and has so far included a half marathon (13.1m), completed on the 10th February and a 20 mile road race on the 24th March in Hull as a practice for the big day.

Speaking about his journey, Mark said: “Back in 2014 feeling unfit and the need to lose some weight I stated running through a programme called Couch to 5K  I would have never believed that simple step would take me to the world’s most iconic marathon - London.”

“As well as being an honour it’s also a chance for me to do good for Charity and I have decided to raise funds a charities close to my heart, The Civic’s #Connect appeal.”  

Mark’s campaign will also be part of a competition run by Local Giving to win up to an extra £1000.

Local Hero, a competition by Local Giving runs throughout April. Participating fundraisers, including Mark, will be ranked on a leader board according to the number of unique online donors who sponsor their page. Donations between £2 and £5000 all count, so even a small donation can make a big difference.

The top 20 fundraisers will be given prizes ranging from £100 to £1,000. 

It’s the number of people donating over £2 that counts in this competition so it doesn't need to be a huge amount. All support for this valuable appeal is very much appreciated.

“I hope to arrive in London in the fittest condition of my life and ready for the challenge of the 26.2 miles.  It would be great if you could support my effort and spur me on on the 28th April” Mark Wilcockson

You could help Mark climb up the leader board and earn extra money by sponsoring his London Marathon fundraiser at