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Promenades under threat after Arts Council funding rejection

Last year's Promenades packed out King Street
Last year’s Promenades packed out King Street

THE 2014 Knutsford Promenades is under threat after the event was turned down for Arts Council funding.

At last month’s meeting of Knutsford Town Council’s Events Committee, Julie Tempest, one of the organisers of the Promenades 2014 (KP2014), informed councillors of the unsuccessful bid.

The bid was submitted by Robert Meadows, a professional creative arts consultant, who was a key partner in the 2013 Promenades backed by the Knutsford Heritage Centre.

Committee members heard how although the 2014 bid met all the criteria and was praised for its vision, the Arts Council said it did not have enough funds available to support the £20,000 bid.

Speaking at the meeting, Julie, of Blue Barnacles Communications, said: “With it being such a big year for Knutsford, we thought it especially important to keep the Promenades going.”

Julie added that the organisers are now forced to explore other funding possibilities so that the event, in some form, can go ahead.

On hearing the news, Clr Peter Coan said: “The Arts Council declined the application even though it fitted. Is their reason for not funding it that they regarded Knutsford to be affluent and not an area of need?

Clr Andrew Malloy said that the Arts Council’s decision was ‘clearly disappointing’.

“I’m disappointed for the group organisers after all the effort they put in,” he added. “Hopefully other funders will come forward to help keep it going.”

The cost of staging the Promenades 2013 was covered by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Knutsford Town Council.

Sarah Flannery, who devised the original concept of an annual Knutsford Promenades, said: “We knew our vision for KP2014 was ambitious but given the success of last year’s Promenades, and the support it received from George Osborne – who even mentioned the event in his Christmas message to his Tatton constituency – we were hopeful of success.”

The organisers are now looking at an alternative format for this year’s event; the Knutsford Promenade 2014.

“We’re looking at a singular event, rather than a plural event, in order to keep costs to a minimum, whilst maintaining the flavour of the concept,” Julie said.

“We have an outline proposal for a terrific community event which we will be discussing with Knutsford Town Council events committee and presenting to the Knutsford traders at their next meeting.”


From Knutsford Guardian