Organisers of the annual Leamington Carnival have confirmed that this July will see the last Carnival on the streets unless more local support is given for next year.
The team which revived the carnival in 2014 after a 18-year gap has struggled yearly to gain support from local businesses to help fund the event. The event has run every year apart from 2015 and has been a popular event with visitors.
Steph Manning from Leamington Carnival said: The event costs around £6,000 to put on. We simply cannot find the funding to do this anymore, there has been a lack of support from businesses from in and around the town - which is a massive disappointment. The event attracts thousands of people into the town center and feels this event is a benefit for the town along with keeping history alive.’
She added: ‘We have approached Warwick District Council with two proposals of unique attractions which would help fund the carnival and make the event even bigger and better, both of which have been refused due to concerns of stretching the council & police resources. However, we totally disagree with this and feel the council isn’t willing to work with us and support a major event within the town. Not once have we ever asked, or would expect the support of the council & police resources and their concerns are just not justified. Last year the event was well supported by the Events team and I’m unsure as to what’s happened this year. We should see the local authorities and local businesses supporting events within the town center. Our High Streets are dying with major chains closing down, and we need to keep the community spirit & footfall alive.’
Sarah Hargreaves of Leamington Carnival said: ‘Leamington is home to around 500 businesses, if each one only donated £12, the carnival would be fully funded. All the money raised through the on-street collections are given to local charities in and across Warwick District. We want to keep this community event alive, but with no support - we can’t do this.’
Organisers are making one final plea to local businesses & organisations in a bid to drum up financial support to ensure the carnival has a bright future.
The carnival is asking anyone who would be willing to sponsor the event for 2019 to contact them by the end of June 2018.
However, if no support has been gathered by then, this July will see the final carnival taking place.
On Saturday 14th July 2018, over 15 organisations will take part in the parade, along with over 50 stalls, a fun fair and live entertainment in the Pump Room Gardens.