Reduced grant casts doubt over future of town carnival

Perfect day - watching the events at Todmorden Carnival 2012
Perfect day - watching the events at Todmorden Carnival 2012

TODMORDEN Carnival faces running on a much reduced budget next year - or even not going ahead at all - as it looks like receiving a smaller amount of funding.

The carnival committee is planning an event with the theme of “Todmorden Carnival Needs You”, a look back on parades from bygone days.

The committee applied for a £3,500 grant from Todmorden Town Council to cover the running costs, but councillors have recommended to give £1,500 of funding instead.

The recommendation will go before the full town council next month for a final decision.

Carnival committee chairman Philip Clarke said it will be difficult to stage the event with less funding.

“We’ve got to try to plod on and do it on limited funds but it’s going to be very tight,” he said. “Belts will have to be tightened.

“The £3,500 we asked for is just to cover our running costs. All the entertainment is on top of that.

“If it goes go ahead, it will be a very cut back version of what we can usually put on.

“We rely on the town council to help us meet our costs.

“In total last year, it cost us £7,000 to put on the carnival.

“The grant we got last year was lower than previously and this year’s might be even less.”

With doubts already being cast over the chances of staging Todmorden Agricultural Show in 2013, Mr Clarke said the town could face a year without two of its biggest events.

“The state of the park is putting Todmorden Show at risk and the carnival needs to get people involved and do fundraising,” he said.

“Todmorden is in danger of losing great events that have been going for years and years.

“The carnival promotes the town and attracts people who spend money in the town.

“The biggest problem we have is people getting involved. There are just nine of us.

“It’s frustrating. We can’t really fundraise all year round because we don’t have enough members to do it.”

Mr Clarke has appealed for businesses to sponsor the event and more volunteers to get involved. “We need new blood and new ideas,” he said.

To get involved, contact Mr Clarke on 07778 614128.