The Great North Run: 10 Years in the Running



The Great North Run brought another summer season to a close for Astley, with an incredible weekend filled with astounding achievements and a strong sense of community that makes us proud to be local to the North East.

Each year, 60,000 runners gather to run the 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South Shields in bids to beat personal bests, in aid of a fantastic array of charities, and in an effort to just be a part of something great.

But why was it so special for us in 2023?

With 2023 marking the 42nd year of the iconic half marathon, it also marked the 10th year of Astley installing signage onto the iconic Tyne Bridge. Each year our experienced and skilled workforce is challenged both physically and technically when undertaking the prestigious Great North Run sign, and from the planning through to installation, it is an incredible feat.

The GNR Sign

We are always so proud to be responsible for the sign that is a symbol of not only the power of running, but also a symbol of sheer determination and the strength of community within the North East. Each year it is an incredible achievement to see the sign take centre stage as it overlooks the Quayside and brings with it a sense of anticipation.

Working closely with Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council, our teams at Astley ensure that the structural design and all elements of health and safety are of the highest quality prior to installation.

The logistics of traffic management when fixing the sign on the bridge is a challenge in itself, with the bridge having to complete lane closures throughout the night over a 5-day period. Using high-level access equipment, our brave crew then face heights of 16.5 metres to reach the first fixing points - a task not for the faint-hearted!

#TeamAstley taking part in the Great North Run

We are so proud of our teams as they not only take on the challenge of installing the monumental sign, but also take part in the race itself. Each year, we love to see familiar faces in the crowd as they cross the finish line, and this year was no different.

George and Martin both ran in aid of our chosen charity of the year, Cancer Research UK, and raised an incredible £1,828 between them!

George said:

“Supporting such a great cause like Cancer Research meant so much to me as I ran in memory of my late grandad who passed earlier this year. The atmosphere was like something I’ve never experienced before – it was electric throughout the whole run, with people from Newcastle and all over the UK coming to show their support." 

The Great Run Company

As well as being responsible for the Tyne Bridge sign each year, Astley had the pleasure of manufacturing and installing the building signage for the Great Run company at their head office by the Tyne Bridge.

We are proud to be in partnership with such an esteemed local business, especially as The Great Run Company champions sustainability with the same vigour and passion as we do, as they ensure that the efforts they undertake are 'engaged in a way that is meaningful and has long-term sustainability at its heart.'

As a manufacturing company that focuses greatly on its Net Zero long-term targets and carbon emission goals, Astley is thrilled to continue cultivating this local partnership with an organisation that shares our environmental values.

And so, with yet another triumphant race under wraps for one more year, we want to say another huge well done to all those involved in every aspect of the grand event.

We are always incredibly proud to play a small part each year, and with 2023 marking a decade of Astley signage installations on the Tyne Bridge, we look forward to seeing what the next decade will bring...

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