Councillor claims Cromer and Sheringham Coast Festival is ‘more needy’ than Crab and Lobster Festival

The organisers of an annual arts festival will be urged to apply for a grant after a bid to persuade Sheringham Town Council to give it more than another landmark event was shelved.

Councillor Malcolm Birtwell told fellow members on Tuesday February 7 that the Cromer and Sheringham arts festival Coast, which will run for the third time this year for a week from October 27, should get �2,000.

He was seeking to rescind a previous resolution by the council that earmarked �1,500 each for Coast and the Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival, which is from May 18-20 this year.

Among other reasons, he cited that fact that Coast ran for a longer period of time.

Mr Birtwell said: 'I believe that our original decision was made based on some erroneous information and it's become clear to me that the Coast Festival is more needy than the Crab and Lobster Festival.

'There was a feeling that Coast had secured funding from the Flag fund, but that's not true. If the town council is not fully funding the festival then other people are less likely to offer support or otherwise.'

He added: 'This was a town council-initiated event to lengthen the end of the tourist season. Quite a lot of local businesses reported increased business and greater turnover.'

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Peter Cox said: 'The money is in our budget and we respond to applications. But we haven't had an application from Coast or the Crab and Lobster Festival. This debate pre-empts that.'

Mac McGinn said the 'proper procedure' was for Coast to 'put an application before the council'.

Following the debate, Mr Birtwell agreed to withdraw his proposition and to advise Coast to make an application for grant aid.

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