Mainstage ‘jeopardy’ after cash refusal

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The finale of this year’s Crawley Festival could be “in jeopardy” after a team of county councillors rejected a bid for funding.

An application for £2,666.70 of Community Initiative Funding (CIF) was submitted to the East Crawley County Local Committee (CLC) to help fund the Mainstage event which forms the finale of the summer festival.

A similar application has been submitted each year for several years by festival organisers and has always been honoured by the CLC.

This year, however – as Crawley marks its 70th year as a new town – the members said the bid did not fit the required criteria.

At the meeting on March 1, chairman Councillor Richard Burrett (Con, Pound Hill & Worth) said: “What was being asked for and has been funded in the past does really amount to revenue funding, in terms of payment for artists and stages.

“Given we have four other applicants that fit the criteria, we didn’t feel we could grant anything to the Crawley Festival this year because it doesn’t fit the criteria of Community Initiative Funding.”

Festival committee member Bob Burgess said of the decision: “It might mean that unless we can find alternative funding that Mainstage might be in jeopardy, but I don’t know.”

Organisers have also submitted a bid for £3,333.30 to the West Crawley CLC, which meets on March 13.

East Crawley CLC was allocated £24,000 CIF money for the 2016/17 financial year, of which £10,851.63 was allocated before Christmas.

A £4,000 mid-year reduction in the funds available to the committee saw it left with just £9,148.37.

With the five applications considered on March 1 amounting to £13,285.70, there were always going to be losers – but the other four applicants were more successful in their bids.

Crawley United Reformed Church received £2,150 to go towards the building of a disabled toilet. The Worth Parochial Church Council received to £2,150 to go towards the refurbishment of toilets and flooring.

The 7th Crawley Scout Group received £3,000 for the reinstating of a garden area and to provide wheelchair access. The IMPACT Tasty Team received the remaining £1,848.37 to fund cookery training courses.

The first meeting of the combined Crawley CLC will be held at Crawley Library at 7pm on Thursday June 29.