Concert profits reinvested in forest

Thousands of pounds will be pumped into creating new facilities at Thetford Forest as a result this summer's outdoor concerts. Organisers spoke of their delight yesterday following the end of the Forestry Commission's Forest Tour 2007, which came to a climax with the performance of veteran rockers Blondie on Sunday.

Thousands of pounds will be pumped into creating new facilities at Thetford Forest as a result this summer's outdoor concerts.

Organisers spoke of their delight yesterday following the end of the Forestry Commission's Forest Tour 2007, which came to a climax with the performance of veteran rockers Blondie on Sunday.

It was business as usual at High Lodge visitor centre, near Thetford, yesterday, with little sign that more than 18,000 fans had descended on the forest site over the course of an extended weekend.

A record 33,000 people visited the facility during June's James Morrison, Travis, Van Morrison gigs and last week's The Feeling, M People, and Blondie performances.

Previous Thetford Forest concerts have boosted local Forestry Commission coffers by more than £40,000, but this summer's gigs are expected to generate more following the addition of two extra dates.

Roger Woods, Forestry Commission spokesman, said he had “no idea” how much profit the organisation had made, but it would all be reinvested in Thetford Forest.

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“Most will go towards the general running of the High Lodge centre, but the areas we are looking to improve are the mountain bike trails, walking trails and new play equipment.”

“They have been absolutely fantastic. There has been huge support for the concerts and everyone is delighted with the way they have gone and we have had some really outstanding acts this year. We have already started enquiries with booking agents at home, Europe and the US for next year,” he said.

The Forest Tour was first started in 2000 to bring new audiences to the region's woodlands and has since attracted a galaxy of stars, including Madness, Ian Brown, Beautiful South, Status Quo, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Sugababes, Daniel Bedingfield, UB40, Embrace, Pet Shop Boys, and Jamie Cullum.

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