Carla Brayshaw column

Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.
Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.

We had a big decision to make last week about carnival funding – the deadline for applications from Morecambe Town Council was fast approaching and we faced a dilemma.

We have got so much planned for MC15 over the two days and, as we want the weekend to be affordable for absolutely everyone, everything will either be free or charged at an absolute minimum.

The drawback however, is that we need to raise in the region of £50,000 just to cover our costs.

Morecambe Town Council is an obvious revenue stream as they have a £55,000 pot of money specifically for promoting festivals and events in 2015.

It would seem an obvious choice for us to submit an application to this fund, after all MC14 was a hugely successful event, it brought in tens of thousands of people to the town and generated huge amounts of goodwill and was great publicity for Morecambe.

It may surprise you to know then that the carnival committee decided unanimously not to apply to the council for any money at all.

After lengthy discussions, we felt that the high profile of the carnival, achieved by the success of MC14, puts us in a good position to approach businesses and other alternative funding streams, in order to raise the £50K needed.

We hope that this will allow other festival and event organisers to approach the council for funding in 2015, to establishing a diverse and vibrant Morecambe Season.

Our aim is to form a festival co-operative and have something going on every weekend of the tourist season.

The funding process has changed this year. We have helped lobby the council to introduce a system where event organisers have the opportunity to fully present their plans before a panel, who can ask questions prior to making their recommendations.

The general feedback is that this process worked well and, although not all applications were successful, each applicant received detailed feedback on their application and the reasons for the decision.

The main casualty of the funding process was the ‘Nice N Sleazy’ festival, but hopefully this will prove to be a glitch and the application can be amended and re-submitted.

David and I attended the Remembrance Day Service on Sunday at the Morecambe Cenotaph. As David is now on the Town Council we were invited to take part in the parade. Afterwards, we followed a group of mariners from the Cenotaph to the end of the Stone Jetty for their own brief service and poppy scatter, to remember their fallen comrades.

It was lovely to see the different veteran and cadet groups, who were taking part in the parade and I’m sure it would make our committee proud if some of these groups will join us in next year’s carnival parade.