There will be no Huddersfield Carnival this summer.
Organisers have reluctantly shelved plans for the spectacular event after losing funding.
They admit they cannot raise the tens of thousands necessary to put on the event which draws huge crowds to the town centre.
One of the organisers, Fay McIntosh, confirmed the news but said: “We believe that, if the whole community pull together and adopt a ‘can do, will do’ approach, Carnival will happen in 2017 and beyond, with the continued aims of focussing on developing and sharing the traditions of African-Caribbean communities in Kirklees and surrounding districts.”
The Carnival has grown enormously over the last 31 years and is now regarded as one of the biggest festivals in the local calendar. But a decision by Kirklees Council to cut funding for the event has left organisers with an enormous headache.
Now the Huddersfield African Caribbean Cultural Trust has decided that Huddersfield Carnival will not go ahead in 2016 and volunteers will use their time to raise the necessary funds to sustain Huddersfield Carnival in 2017 and beyond.
A spokesman said: “In 2015, at short notice we secured one-off funding £50,000 reduced from £74,000 received in previous years rendering it an event on a smaller scale.
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"We need the next nine months to work effectively on pursuing funding for projects that support community groups and individuals to develop carnival arts including costume design, music and dance to stage the Carnival Queen show, Friday night Glow Parade and the Carnival Parade.
“In addition, £45,000 is needed to cover the costs for the level of security, staging, crowd management event equipment, cleansing and road closure staffing to fund the Greenhead Park element of our event and that is our biggest challenge.
Last year's Carnival
“We need committed individuals to join a very small group of volunteers. We need more than ‘ideas’, we need members who are committed to develop their ideas into life.”
The Trust will meet on April 17 at St Patrick’s Catholic Centre at 5pm and want to hear from people willing to get involved. Nominations should be submitted to Fay McIntosh – Chairperson, in writing by email to email@example.com by Friday, April 8.
The Trust had hoped to host fundraising events in their Station Street premises but with the upper floors converted to flats, the council has imposed a limit on noise after 11pm.
The group hopes to move into new premises within weeks and wants to work with local businesses to back the Carnival.
They have set up a fundraising page on http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/huddersfield-carnival-2016 or you can text your donation to HCCT01 £(donation amount) to 70070.