Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council have voted unanimously to award the Freedom of the Borough to Mervyn Whyte, MBE, the Event Director of the Vauxhall International North West 200 motorcycle races.
The decision was taken during a special meeting of the Council on Thursday night.
‘This Council bestows the Freedom of the Borough upon Mr Mervyn Whyte MBE, Race Director of the International NW200 in recognition of his services to the North West 200 race and motorsport in Northern Ireland.” a spokesperson for the Council said.
“It’s a huge honour and privilege to be granted the Freedom of the Borough.” Mr Whyte said on hearing the news.
“I appreciate the huge support the NW200 receives from the elected Causeway Coast and Glens Council members. It is even more meaningful now as the Council takes in a wide area from beyond Limavady to Ballycastle. Limavady, my home town, is part of the new Council and I never forget that!”
The 67 Year old began his service as a road marshal at the 1973 North West 200 before becoming Clerk of the Course in 2000. He now holds the post of Event Director, managing a team of 800 volunteers who work all year round to host the annual road races.
“I want to pay tribute to the hard working members of Coleraine and District Motor Club and the army of volunteers who put in so much effort to ensure the races take place each May.” Whyte said.
“The North West 200 is a massive event now, with huge international status. It has grown immensely over the past 10 to 15 years with the support of Council and I hope it continues to do so over many more years to come.”
The honour will be formally conferred on Mr Whyte at a ceremony within the next few weeks.