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Issue Date:- 27 January 2009

Liverpool to host major triathlon...

LIVERPOOL’s world famous waterfront is to be the stunning location for a high-profile triathlon this summer.  Around 1000 people are expected to take part in the inaugural event, which will be based at ECHO Arena and BT Convention Centre at Kings Waterfront and use the city’s most famous locations as the route for the swimming, cycling and running events.

It will be open to people of all abilities – ranging from experienced national athletes through to novices.  It will be one of the few Triathlons able to offer a safe location and correct distances for a children’s event, and the city council and the organisers are hoping to encourage athletes with a disability to compete.

As well as Olympic Distance races – 1.5k swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run - there will also be a sprint and super sprint for people who prefer shorter distances.  The event will encourage families and work colleagues to enter teams where one does the swim, one the bike and one the run, handing the timing chip over as a “baton”.

It is being organised by Mass Participation Events in partnership with Liverpool City Council and will take place on Sunday June 21, 2009.

Council leader Warren Bradley said:- “We are absolutely determined to build upon the massive success of our year as European Capital of Culture by continuing to host major top quality events.  The aim is to turn this into an annual event which is part of Liverpool’s cultural calendar, and grows to become one of the best in the country.  The Albert Dock is one of the city’s best known landmarks, and is a fantastic location to hold this event.

This a chance for participants to compete in a truly iconic location, cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of local people to give them a rousing Liverpool welcome.  I would encourage people to get together with their families and workmates to enter the Triathlon and use their training as a way to get fit.  Liverpool has an unrivalled track record as a city which can put on top quality sporting events, and this is yet another for us to add to our amazing portfolio.”

Kevin Stewart, Managing Director of Mass Participation Events, said:- “As a company we are delighted to be creating and organising this 'flagship event' for triathlon in the North West.  Having been closely involved in the development of the London Triathlon into the largest triathlon in the world, and developed triathlons from scratch in Sweden and Spain, I am excited about the long term potential for this iconic event.

We have an experienced team in place to ensure that the Liverpool Triathlon is second to none in terms of enjoyment and safety for all.  I look forward to being overwhelmed by the response of participants from the North West and the rest of Britain as I believe it will become a 'must-do' event.  The Capital of Culture status last year has given the people of Liverpool a thirst for major events and a pride in their city which we hope to strengthen.  There is definitely a 'can-do' atmosphere in the city and the Liverpool Triathlon is certainly a 'can-do' event for everyone."

It is expected that many of those who take part will be raising money for local charities, and every competitor will receive a medal.  People who wish to enter the event can log on to:-

British Gas 1st to announce gas price cuts for over 7.5 million homes

BRITISH Gas today announced it will cut gas prices by 10% from 19 February 2009.  The reduction will apply to all customers on British Gas’ standard tariff, benefiting more than 7.5 million homes.  The price cut, which will save customers £79 on the average annual household gas bill, is the 1st standard gas tariff cut by a major energy supplier since 2007.

Managing Director, Phil Bentley, said:- “We’re very pleased to be able to announce this price cut for our gas customers.  At British Gas we understand energy bills are a significant cost and we are committed to providing the best possible prices for customers.  This price cut will go some way to helping customers manage their budgets, and we will continue to do what we can, when we can.”

Over the last 12 months, the wholesale market has experienced unprecedented volatility.  In 2008 the wholesale price almost doubled, but British Gas protected its customers from the full impact of this increase by buying wholesale gas in advance.

Mr Bentley explained:- “Demand for gas is 4 times higher in winter than in summer.  We buy gas months before it is used so we can make sure we always have enough for our customers, and can protect them from sudden rises in wholesale prices.  The recent dispute between Russia and Ukraine demonstrates how important it is that we continue to do so, as it caused a sharp rise in wholesale prices which had fallen from last year’s peaks.”

On 19 February, British Gas will also introduce a ‘prompt payment discount’ of up to £15 per year for customers on standard gas tariffs who pay quarterly.  For those standard tariff customers paying by direct debit, British Gas will automatically reduce their payments by 10% when the price cuts take effect.

These changes come on top of a recent price reduction for British Gas’ pre-payment customers and improved information about the company’s online product – making British Gas the first energy supplier to meet Ofgem’s key requirements following its recent probe into the UK energy market.

Energy efficiency – further savings
Announcing the 10% price cut, British Gas also highlighted the importance of energy efficiency in helping customers reduce the amount of energy they use and save money.  Because of rising energy prices and the tough economic climate, the company has seen a huge increase in demand from its customers for expert advice on using less energy – particularly through its website:-

Mr Bentley confirmed:- “More than 2 million customers have filled out an Energy Savers Report, and through our advice we have shown how households can save, on average, £175 per year on their energy bills.  While we expect gas markets to remain volatile, we strongly recommend customers take control of the amount of energy they use, and we’re keen to help them do this.”

As well as offering expert energy-saving advice, British Gas has a commitment of around £1 billion by 2011 to subsidise the installation of energy efficient products in customers’ homes.

This includes the use of insulation, which can reduce energy bills by up to £365 per year.

For further information please see our energy prices page:-

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