The Malcolm Wilson Rally marked a new beginning for Cockermouth today (Saturday) as the town declared itself 'Open for Business' once more following the devastating floods in November 2009.
The rally, which attracts competitors and fans from all over the UK, is the first major event to be held in the town in 2010.
Local organisations such as the town council and private businesses have all thrown their weight behind the rally by making a special provision to start and finish the event in the devastated high street in order to highlight the fact that the town is back in working order and able to welcome visitors.
One of the local companies helping this effort is M-Sport, the global rally preparation firm that also supports the Malcolm Wilson Rally, which has donated advertising space on each car entering the event this weekend to help promote Cockermouth's re-opening.
The company made the gesture in order to support the local community from which it draws its workforce and to help raise awareness of the progress the town has made in re-building.
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson said:
I was born and work in Cockermouth and although I can't be at the rally as I am away in Mexico with the Ford World Rally Championship team, it is great to be able to use the rally as a way of reminding people from all over the UK that Cockermouth is fighting back from the devastation of the November floods. The people who come to the town for the rally will be able to see the progress that has been made and I am sure they will have a fantastic weekend. It's great to see that Cockermouth is open for business again."
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