Crunch time for Barnstaple Carnival
BARNSTAPLE carnival committee will decide tomorrow (Thursday) whether this year s event will go ahead. The committee is desperately seeking financial support to stage what would be the town s 80th annual procession, a proud Barnstaple traditional event th
BARNSTAPLE carnival committee will decide tomorrow (Thursday) whether this year's event will go ahead.
The committee is desperately seeking financial support to stage what would be the town's 80th annual procession, a proud Barnstaple traditional event that raises thousands of pounds for charities in the town.
As the Gazette revealed exclusivelylast month, dwindling reserves and increasingly punishing overheads have left the organising committee facing a �3,500 shortfall ahead of this September's event.
Chairman Arthur Windsor said: "The committee is meeting on Thursday to definitely decide whether this year's event goes ahead or not."
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"Since the Gazette ran the story on the front page, there have been a few developments and we now need to get around the table and discuss what we are going to do.
"That story really started the ball rolling," he added. "People in the town are talking about the carnival again and people want to know what's going on.
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"As a result of the story, we are now discussing a potential sponsorship deal with a major high street retailer and we have had a large pledge from North Devon Homes, who have indicated they'd like to get behind the event as part of their 10-year anniversary celebrations.
"We have also had a number of inquires from individuals who'd like to help out and our 'Save Barnstaple Carnival' Facebook page has nearly 400 members."
Last Monday, Barnstaple Town Council sanctioned a one-off �2,000 grant to help safeguard this year's event. And the North Devon Gazette is putting its money where its mouth is too and is also pledging financial support to help ensure the future of carnival.
"We fully appreciate all the donations that are coming in, but the future of the event depends upon long-term sustainability," said Mr Windsor.
"The hope is that the carnival will go ahead this year and that we can work towards making the event self-sufficient so that the Barnstaple can keep giving to the charities in the town.