Carnival’s long-term future boosted as town council agrees to give thousands

PUBLISHED: 17:23 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:29 07 June 2018

Pill Sharks.

Pill Sharks.

Archant

Thousands of pounds haven been donated to help secure the future of Portishead Carnival after its main sponsorship deal fell through at the 11th hour.

Carnival organisers’ hopes of a financial deal and support from the Old Mill pub collapsed last month amid uncertainty over the business’ future.

The volunteer-led event always runs to a tight budget and there were fears over whether its long-term future would be jeopardised unless other funds could be sourced.

Support has come from around Portishead, including from Portishead Town Council who at an extraordinary meeting at the end of May agreed to hand over cash to organisers.

A grant of £5,000 was agreed to meet the shortfall.

Clerk of the council, Jo Duffy, said: “The carnival organisers were concerned that if it rains on carnival day or if the bucket collections were not generous enough to meet the set up costs, the future of the event could be in jeopardy.

“The carnival is an extremely positive annual event for Portishead, enjoyed by its residents and the local business community.

“It also brings visitors to the town which in turn helps the local economy.”

Carnival co-organisers Jemma Cooper and Wendy Watkins said small donations make a world of difference to the event.

They said: “If everyone in Portishead put £1 in a bucket on carnival day it would mean we could carry on safe and secure into future years.”

This year’s carnival is only a few days away.

The parade will set off from the Lake Grounds at noon on June 16 and will snake down the High Street before ending at the flower show field, opposite Gordano School.

Games, music and food will be on offer.

Jemma added: “Our programmes are on sale door to door at homes in the town plus at Morgan-Westley and Marks Barber Shop. They cost £2.50.

“That admits a family of four to the show field where we have some great bands, DJs, a fair, food and a beer tent.

“It really would be wonderful if people would buy one and come to the carnival field to enjoy our entertainment.”

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