Lifestyles Festival in Hunstanton should be back in September
- Credit: IAN BURT
A surf festival that brings in thousands of watersports fans to the Norfolk coast looks set to return in September - with a new West Norfolk sponsor.
The Lifestyles Festival, which is held in Hunstanton, was cancelled last year due to a lack of sponsorship.
But the committee behind the event, which has been held at Hunstanton every summer since 2005 except last year, launched an appeal in the hope it could come back this year.
And Liz Pendleton, chairman of the Lifestyles Association committee, said that a headline sponsor has now been found for this year's event.
Highline Extreme (OZ-UK) Ltd, based in Downham Market, which makes mobile climbing walls, skate parks and high ropes, has put up £10,000, and the committee is confident it can raise the rest of the money needed to put on the £50,000 event.
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Miss Pendleton said Highline Extreme previously supplied a climbing wall for the event, and said: 'Highline Extreme's support will be a massive step to help save the festival, and we are close to being saved, but we still need to do more.
'We still need to raise awareness that this event is a not-for-profit, free extreme sports and culture event for everyone to enjoy - and it's run by volunteers - it offers work experience and great opportunities for everyone to get into national level sports and culture.
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'We need support for our new crowdfunder campaign , which was launched this week, and for our supporters' event, which is being held at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton, from 6pm on Saturday, March 15.
'We have provisionally booked the festival in for the end of September, but are not giving out a proper date until we are half way to funding the event, which will cost £50,000.
'We are also applying for funding from arts and music groups and sports foundations.'
Chris Peach, managing director of Highline Extreme, said: 'There are two reasons why we are sponsoring the festival. Firstly, it goes hand in glove with our company and our remit. And, secondly, everything about it works really well for us. It's the right product, right people, it's exciting and extreme, and it's in Norfolk. I'm really excited about it.
'In the scheme of things Norfolk is still a bit of a backwater, so it's great to do something for the county. I'm originally from Australia but I'm passionate about Norfolk, which is a special place.'
The news has been welcomed by Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council's portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, who said: 'That's great news for Hunstanton.'
The festival brings in trade and tourism to the town with an estimated 12,000 visitors taking part in and watching kite surfing, windsurfing, skateboarding and live music.
To find out more about Lifestyles' appeal visit www.lifestylesassociation.org.uk
the committee is also raising money through http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/lifestyles-appeal
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