The UK Athletics (UKA) governing body has announced the formation of a new commercial joint venture with the organizers of the country’s London Marathon (LME) and Great North Run (GRC) events, in order to support the continued promotion of athletics in the UK.

Athletic Ventures, as the company will be known, will serve a number of purposes, most prominently as the organizer of the country’s annual Diamond League athletics meetings, as well as of the 2026 European Athletics Championships (to be held in Birmingham, England).

Furthermore, the body will also be responsible for the UK’s bid to host the 2029 World Athletics Championships, with the UK having only hosted the event once before, in 2017 in London.

As a commercial joint venture, Athletic Ventures will seek to find new brand partners for UKA, LME, and GRC, allowing potential investors to sponsor events from the grassroots level up to the elite tier.

GRC chief executive Paul Foster stated: “We’re bringing together the best event organizers in our sport to create a new template for international events. We’re combining world-class creative, broadcast, and event operations with focused commercial and entrepreneurial vision to develop a brighter future for athletics.

“For the first time, major events will be underwritten by commercial organizations, not the public sector. We firmly believe that this model is the future for major events, and that the Birmingham European Championships will be a huge success for Great Britain, on and off the track.”

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UK Athletics announced its intention to host the 2029 World Athletics Championships in March, alongside the UK Sport national body.

Jack Buckner, chief executive of UK Athletics, was quoted by the UK's public-service BBC broadcaster at the time as saying: "We'd love to have another crack at 2029 and a World Championships. We just do a great job. Everyone talks about the atmosphere and every event we've done. We first of all have to do a feasibility study and look at what the various options are.”

It is likely that London would be the host city should the UK prove successful in the bid, given the size of the city and the quality of its sports facilities.

Buckner said of the prospect: "We can't definitely say it'll be London, but it would be in our mind given the success of it before. I think London [2017] was transformational and it built off 2012 [when the city hosted the Olympic Games]. It was transformational in all sorts of ways.”