Events to go ahead despite budget cuts

The World Firework Championships on Blackpool, Promenade

The World Firework Championships on Blackpool, Promenade

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TOURISM chiefs today confirmed Blackpool’s events programme will go ahead this year – despite council cuts.

Back office savings have been made in order to protect the events themselves which include Armed Forces Day, the World Fireworks Championships and the annual air show.

But the private sector is being called upon to dig into their pockets in future to ensure the town can continue to stage the crowd-pullers.

Natalie Wyatt, head of VisitBlackpool, said they would be stepping up their efforts to attract sponsorship.

She said; “The programme for will be pretty much the same as 2010 because we have been able to make savings elsewhere in order to protect the actual events.

“However while it’s all right this year, next year it might not be.

“So we are appealing to the private sector to get more involved, perhaps through sponsorship.

“Now is the time for them to be doing that because we can then put their logo on our marketing material or maybe put together a campaign.

“For example with the fireworks, we will be looking for private sector companies to buy into that event. It’s such a big event and draws so many people to the Promenade.

“We will be going out to see people to see if there is a chance they will put money in.”

Hundreds of thousands of people have crowded onto the Promenade for the World Fireworks Championships and the air show in previous years.

Last year the events budget was around £650,000 and it had been feared that would be cut back significantly this year.

The Places Directorate, which includes tourism and regeneration, has found savings of £2.4m which include savings of £232,000 on planned events, and £266,700 by shortening the Illuminations, reducing the number of tableaux and reducing the operating costs of Brilliance in Birley Street and the Christmas lights.

Blackpool received £3.5m from the Northwest Development Agency ( NWDA) for a three year events programme which the council took over the funding of last year.