Athletics: Marathon must pay park fees

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The Independent Online
THE organisers of the London Marathon will be denied the use of Greenwich Park and St James's Park on 18 April if they do not pay a pounds 15,000 fee, the National Heritage Department said yesterday.

A Department spokesman said that the marathon's chairman, Christopher Brasher, had made it clear that he thought pounds 15,000 was too much: he offered pounds 5,000.

But now Robert Key, the Under Secretary, has written to him saying: 'It is with regret that I note that you have not responded to my letter of 8 February which asked whether you would be prepared to pay the agreed fee for the use by the Marathon of the Royal Parks.

'I am afraid that your silence has led me to draw the conclusion that you no longer wish to use the parks for this year's event.'

A London Marathon spokesman said they had not previously paid to use the two parks.

The race starts in Greenwich Park and runs along the Mall and Birdcage Walk, which are considered part of St James's Park.

The governing body of American athletics, USA Track and Field, will offer prize-money to medallists at the Toronto world indoor and Stuttgart world outdoor championships this year. In Toronto next month gold medallists will receive dollars 5,000 ( pounds 3,450), silver medallists dollars 1,500 and bronze medallists dollars 500. The American athletes' fund at Stuttgart in August will be dollars 70,000.