The arrival of the Pirelli International Rally in the city this weekend will provide Carlisle’s catering and hospitality trade with a welcome boost as the huge number of competitors, service crews, media people and rally enthusiasts, not to mention the vast army of volunteers required to run the event, all descend on the town where they will be required to be accommodated, fed and watered. The logistics of fitting everyone in is a major operation for the rally organisers who themselves have block booked one of Carlisle’s major hotels to accommodate the rally’s senior officials and the visiting delegates from the various motorsport governing bodies. They estimate that over the weekend of the rally, the event will have filled some 800 bed/nights, indeed in previous years, every hotel and B &B in the city has been full to bursting point with latecomers having to look as far afield as Dumfries and Penrith for accommodation. If the event is a big boost for the hoteliers, there is also healthy spin-off for the catering establishments and the city’s restaurants, cafes and takeaway facilities will all see a roaring trade, indeed, finding a table over rally weekend is always an operation that requires planning well in advance. A spokesman for the rally said, “ We are always well looked after in Carlisle, indeed some crews return to the same restaurant year after year, the city has some excellent facilities which we all really appreciate and we are delighted that the Pirelli international Rally brings so much into the local economy”. The Pirelli International rally runs over the weekend of 29th/30th April and is based on the outskirts of Carlisle at the H& H Borderway Mart, just off junction 43 of the M6 motorway. The event starts from there at 8:00 am on Saturday 29th and ends around 12:30 pm the following day with a ceremonial finish in Brampton marketplace.