Cash shortage forces veterans to cancel Norwich parade

Veterans planning a parade through Norwich have been forced to scale back the event after receiving less than half of the funding they had hoped for to pay for it.

Members of the Norfolk and Norwich Combined Ex-Services Association had planned a parade in the city on June 26 as part of Armed Forces Week.

Funding usually comes through grants supplied by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

But Brian Wilson, association chairman, said the association had not received as much cash as hoped and this year had forced a rethink.

The MoD provides �258,000 a year to fund a range of events to mark Armed Forces Week up and down the country.


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Organisations can apply for the money to cover the costs of a planned event and these bids are assessed before any allocations are made.

The main Armed Forces Day event is held in Edinburgh and there a further 78 nationwide.

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The association had sought �2100 to cover the costs of the event, but had received �1,000.

Initially, Mr Wilson said, the association had tried to press ahead but was unable to find the funds needed to cover the costs of a band, St John's Ambulance cover and public liability insurance, all of which can cost up to �900.

'This year we have decided to cancel the drumhead parade and opted to do our display in the Forum because the MOD isn't going to give out as much money,' Mr Wilson said.

'The funding wasn't there, so rather than having something that wasn't good enough, we decided to cancel it. But we are taking our standards to the Honingham for the Dunkirk Service Veterans' ceremony'.

However not all of the funding had been cut and Mr Wilson said that there was enough money to cover a display in the Forum on June 21, while there will also be a city council run flagraising ceremony the day before.

The association was also supporting a Normandy Veterans' Association D-Day service at the Memorial Gardens on June 6.

An MoD spokesman said: 'People come to us with a bid for money and we hand it out and it's up to them how they spend it. The level of funding this year is on a par for we did last year.'

Have funding cuts affected an event you've tried to organise? Contact reporter Shaun Lowthorpe on 01603 772471 or email shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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