Poll: Was Sheringham Town Council right not to approve grant for Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival?

Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival chairman, Tony Shipp. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival chairman, Tony Shipp. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Volunteers behind a seafaring heritage festival are 'disappointed' after a grant application was rejected by a town council for the second year in a row.

Tony Shipp, chairman of the Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival, was hopeful the event could build on previous years but added without the East of England Co-op sponsorship this year the attraction would have been reduced in size.

Sheringham Town Council refused a grant application from the festival, entering its fifth year, because it was 'unwise' to give taxpayers' money to an event that made a healthy surplus profit which was donated to local charities.

Mayor Doug Smith said: 'The feelings from councillors were that money should be put aside for the following year's festival. Instead of that the committee gives the money away and comes back with a begging bowl, which we find strange.'

The council was not asked for a specific amount but had previously given £1,500.

Mr Smith felt the event - an idea originally backed by Cromer and Sheringham town councils - had 'lost its way'.

Cromer Town Council has approved a £2,000 grant for the festival, which opens on May 16 at Cromer Pier and will include food demonstrations and entertainment on May 17 in Cromer and May 18 in Sheringham.

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More than 60 decorated boats will be in shops, cafés and businesses across Cromer and Sheringham from Easter to August. Money raised from the Bootiful Boat Art Trail auction on August 24 will go towards charities.

An average of £4,000-£5,000 is donated to local causes from the yearly art trails and 20,000 people enjoyed the weekend events last year.

A seafood trail around cafés and restaurants will also be put on across both towns from Easter to August.

Mr Shipp said: 'We are disappointed that Sheringham council has decided not to award a grant to the festival. It is the members' prerogative but the councils were happy to get behind the project initially as part of a joint publicity event.

'I feel we have not had the support from Sheringham council that we have had from Cromer council.'

What do you think? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk.