Hemingway event’s £18k lure

Vintage by the Sea Festival at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
Vintage by the Sea Festival at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
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Wayne Hemingway’s Vintage festival has received an £18,000 cash boost and will expand to two days next year.

The designer and Lancaster City Council have been successful in a joint funding bid for next year’s event.

Vintage-by-the-Sea will replace the Morecambe Seaside Festival on September 6 and 7 2014 with a bigger version of Saturday’s successful debut.

Morecambe Town Council agreed £15,000 funding plus £3,000 if Mr Hemingway includes a fireworks display on the seafront.

The town council will also fund a new Morecambe Bay Water Sports Festival scheduled for June or July) to the tune of £12,000 after a joint bid by Morecambe and Heysham Yacht Club, Bay Kite Surfing Club and Lancaster & District Canoe Club.

The revived Morecambe Carnival, scheduled for May 4, has also been given £1,500, although this was £5,500 less than organisers bid for.

The council has only allocated £45,000 of its £60,000 festivals budget to date.

The remaining £15,000 is still available for promoters to apply for, with a closing date of December 20. This will be paid to “major festivals aiming to attract as many outside visitors as possible to the town”.

But the council snubbed longtime Morecambe promoter Steve Middlesbrough’s series of music festivals.

Mr Middlesbrough had asked for £20,700 to fund his annual Morecambe Live, Morecambe Jazz, BluesWater, Country Kickback, Motown Magic and Zombieville events, but has received nothing.

Other events including the North Lancs Soul Festival, Tutti Frutti, Nice ‘n’ Sleazy and Bare Fest did receive cash, but organisers were warned it could be for the last time.

A spokesman for the town council said: “The continuing support of the same festivals year on year is unsustainable.

“The town council should be attempting to achieve a series of weekend events, which attract an increased number of outside visitors for the weekend to the town.”

The council decided not to fund a World War 1 Centenary Event, a Christmas Festival, Inspired 2014 at Lancaster and Morecambe College, a Community Film Festival run by The Dukes, a Chinese New Year Festival, the Festival Market Fun Weekend and the Bay Summer Festival of Dance.

Grants were provisionally agreed by the festivals and events committee and could be ratified at a meeting at Morecambe Town Hall this Thursday (September 19).