Funding boost for town centre events in Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Market Place on the evening of the towns annual Christmas Lights switch on event.Nove

Great Yarmouth Market Place on the evening of the towns annual Christmas Lights switch on event.November 2015.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Events in Yarmouth town centre have been given a significant funding boost, after councillors agreed to up the budget by more than £30,000.

It’s a Dog’s Life Fun Dog Show in the market place in Great Yarmouth.Dogs being paraded around the r

It’s a Dog’s Life Fun Dog Show in the market place in Great Yarmouth.Dogs being paraded around the ring.Best Dog led by a child category on show.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

With the aim of increasing footfall and sales in town centre shops, officials suggested a £60,000 budget to fund attractions such as the Easter Fair, Food Festival, Summer Sundays and more.

But the Economic Development Group, which met on Monday, can only approve a budget of up to £50,000. The proposals will have to be seen by the Policy and Resources committee to get full approval of £60,000.

The previous budget set for 2016/17 was £16,800 but it is thought the new cash could be used to meet the cost of the Easter Fair, the Food Festival, and Summer Sundays among over events.

Labour group leader and Magdalen ward councillor Trevor Wainwright took issue with the cost of the Easter Fair.


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He said: 'I know families who go on the cheap night on a Thursday but then can't go again.

'I think it is scandalous that we should be paying to have the fair here.'

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But Barry Coleman, Conservative councillor for East Flegg and committee leader said this was a small amount of around £12,000 to £14,000.

He added: 'But that's not unique to this year. A lot of work has gone on in relation to the fair and we are working with the Showman's Guild.'

Other events which could be put on with the funds are a Where's Wally? day, the It's a Dog's Life show, Maritime in the Market, Wheels Plus car show, and Christmas Fair and lights switch on, and a pancake day event.

Money for the increased budget would come from the ear-marked reserve of the Town Centre Initiative.

However a report seen by councillors reminded them this was one-off money.

It said the risks included the events not making their income targets, and highlighted how it was unlikely the events programme would ever become self-financing.

However, there could be further income from paid admission, voluntary contributions, trade pitches, advertising and sponsorship. There could also be indirect income from the use of council car parks.

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