Cheshire East Council has given a £25,000 boost to a local group which organises a key community arts and cultural event in Knutsford.
Councillor Leader Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, presented the cheque to the organisers of Knutsford Promenades during a visit to Bexton Primary School – and was joined by Chancellor of the Exchequer and local Tatton MP George Osborne.
Knutsford Promenades has now become a major arts and cultural event benefitting the town in many ways.
Presenting the cheque for £25,000, Cllr Jones said: “I was very pleased to visit the school to present this cheque.
“The Promenades in Knutsford provide a fantastic opportunity for people to enjoy our local culture and it is absolutely right that Cheshire East should be supporting local communities in this way. It’s their money and that is what it should go on.”
George Osborne said: “It is absolutely brilliant that Cheshire East has been able to find the money to support the Knutsford Promenades.
“It is a testament to the fact that Michael Jones and the Council run a tight ship and they use taxpayers’ money really well and they have been able to find, from their surplus, money to support great local projects like Knutsford Promenades.
“I took my kids to see it a couple of years ago and it is fantastic. It brings to life the history of the town and some of the great characters who have lived in Knutsford and in Cheshire. Organiser Sarah Flannery has done a brilliant job in bringing it all together.
“This grant funding will help to make sure we have a great show next year.”
Knutsford Promenades originator and organiser Sarah Flannery said: “As one of the project managers for the coming year, it is really going to transform the next year production.
“We’ve run the Knutsford Promenades for the last two years and this funding is going to enable us to respond to some of the overwhelmingly-positive feedback where, for example, people have asked for staged events in particular locations or particular sites, better sound systems for performers, better props and large-scale puppetry and the like.
“With this funding we are going to be able to look at not just the number of people involved and the originality of the performance pieces but also the quality of the performance pieces themselves, to end up with an event that should be fantastically entertaining and thought provoking for the residents and visitors to Knutsford.
“We are really grateful to Cheshire East Council and, of course, George Osborne and many, many other people who have supported the whole promenades journey, because the thing that is different about the promenades is that this is an event which is rooted in the history, heritage and memories of local people.
“We bring local stories to life using local people and all of the local arts and organisations and heritage organisations and, of course, the other advantage for the funding for next year is that we are going to be able to have professional performers and arts practitioners imparting their skills to improve the performance skills of the whole Knutsford Promenades company.”
Promenades organiser Robert Meadows added: “It was great to be there with some pupils from Bexton Primary School for this presentation, as it recognised that they are part of the network of young people from local schools and arts organisations that will be getting involved in devising and performing as part of Knutsford Promenades 2015.”