Cleethorpes Carnival could be saved by mystery local organisation
A MYSTERY local organisation could step up and save the Cleethorpes Carnival, committee members have revealed.
Directors of Cleethorpes Events, the committee responsible for organising the £30,000 resort calendar highlight, have confirmed that a local organisation has "shown an interest in keeping Cleethorpes Carnival going".
As reported, this year's event was – to the disappointment of thousands – the final one planned after North East Lincolnshire Council stopped funding it due to public spending cut backs.
But now the committee has confirmed it has been in "exploratory talks" with an organisation about paying for the event – which is free to the public – and has a second meeting scheduled in the coming weeks.
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During the meeting they discussed the cost of the carnival – which is largely taken up by insurance, legal paperwork and health and safety red tape – and the interested party is now "considering its options".
Deputy Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council and director of Cleethorpes Events, Councillor Mick Burnett, confirmed that if they decide not to go ahead there would be no option but to stop the carnival indefinitely.
He said: "We haven't got a back up plan, this is it. The cost of the carnival is such that we can't raise the money alone. Everyone has done a sterling job in raising the money in the past, but it can't be done anymore."
Chairman of the carnival committee Colin Eastwell never gave up hope someone would come forward.
He said: "I always thought it would be possible that something would come along.
"We had our first talks with the organisation, which expressed an interest in keeping it going, but that is as far as we have got.
"It would be great if this went ahead."
Throughout the run-up to this year's carnival, organisers and participants expressed their sadness at it being the final one.
At the carnival award ceremony, Mayor of North East Lincolnshire Councillor Mike Burton, made an plea to the public to get behind it, saying: "We will keep our fingers crossed that someone steps up to the challenge and brings it back to us."
Sarah Hall, director of this year's carnival winner Centa Stage Theatre Company, has her fingers crossed the anonymous organisation will come up with the goods.
She said: "We love doing the carnival. When we were told it was going to be the final one it was really sad – I have been going since I was little – but at the same time I did think someone would take it on.
"I understand there is no money about, but it is possible to make a little bit go a long way."
The carnival has been going for 36 years. This year 55 floats took part, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
Mr Burnett said: "It is clear the council is not in a financial position to make any contribution. We have left it with the interested party to consider."
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