Charity festival organisers say they could lose money at event and may be 'forced' to make cancellations - The Leamington Observer

Charity festival organisers say they could lose money at event and may be 'forced' to make cancellations

Laura Kearns 19th Jul, 2018   0

CHARITY festival organisers claim they could lose money at this year’s event and be forced to make cancellations due to the redevelopment of the Pump Room Gardens.

Warwickshire Pride founder Daniel Brown says he was promised by Warwick District Council last year that no work would be done until after the summer’s main events – including Pride, Leamington Carnival, the Peace Festival and Food Festival – were complete.

But he was shocked to discover half of the area could be closed when Warwickshire Pride takes place on Saturday August 18.

It follows criticism from organisers of Leamington Carnival after metal fencing went up around large parts of the historic gardens – which are undergoing a £1.4million facelift – around a week before the event.

Daniel said he is now faced with cancelling attractions which will result in the Warwickshire Pride charity losing out on money.

He told the Observer: “The council promised us last October that no work would be done on the Pump Room Gardens until after Pride. I checked three further times and was again promised no work would begin until after the summer. They have gone back on their word.

“Like the carnival, Warwickshire Pride is now looking at half of the site being unavailable. This means cancelling various attractions and a potential loss in revenue of thousands of pounds. That’s a lot of money that would make a big difference to a small charity like Warwickshire Pride.

“We planned an event based on the promise the whole of the site would be available but will now have to cram things in and make compromises that we shouldn’t have to.”

Daniel said he will ensure the show does go on, but this year’s festival may be smaller than previous offerings.

He added: “I will keep reviewing my event plan though to make sure everything can go ahead the best it can.”

But the council says it has met with organisers and Warwickshire Pride will ‘more or less’ have the entire site.

A spokeswoman said: “The Phase One works adjacent to the Pump Rooms and the Parade are now well underway. The key elements of this phase will be completed by the time of Pride.

“Phase Two will have started which involves working on the paths from York Bridge and a new garden feature.

“Aside from the bandstand which is off-site for refurbishment and the site compound which event organisers were aware of, there is sufficient room for all of the required stalls. In the absence of the bandstand, WDC has offered to provide a replacement stage at no cost to organisers which has already been successfully provided for the carnival.

“Warwick District Council’s commitment to events in the district has been recognised through a decision not to charge any organisers for the use of our parks.

“This came into effect in April, and also has seen the council agree to continue covering the cost of waste provisions, toilet cleaning of council-owned facilities, street cleaning and parking passes for the events.”


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