Town's arts festival in jeopardy

By Jenni DixonA TOWN'S annual arts festival could be under threat due to a lack of funding caused by the end of European grants.Halesworth Arts Festival, a three-week extravaganza of music, dance, comedy, poetry, talks, theatre, workshops and art, finished on Sunday and was hailed a success by its organisers.

By Jenni Dixon

A TOWN'S annual arts festival could be under threat due to a lack of funding caused by the end of European grants.

Halesworth Arts Festival, a three-week extravaganza of music, dance, comedy, poetry, talks, theatre, workshops and art, finished on Sunday and was hailed a success by its organisers.

But the event was largely supported by European funding from Halesworth Connections, which encourages new initiatives and regeneration in the Blyth Valley, but the four-year project is due to stop in June.


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Halesworth Connections project officer, Richard Nichols, said: “I will be encouraging everyone to work together to make the 2004 festival even more successful.

“It's such an important event in terms of art development and is for all age groups.”

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James Holloway, artistic director at the town's New Cut Arts, said: “Clearly we need to apply for good funding next year and combining local business sponsorship with the festival worked well this year.

“Everybody is very fired up to keep it rolling and keep it successful. We had extremely good support throughout and I hope to have more modern music and more edgy events for young people next year.”

Chris Bracewell, chairman of the festival's organising committee, added: “It's about giving local people the opportunity to experience artistic things by participation or attending things they would not be able to do otherwise. It was a big success and we received very positive feedback.”

All three agreed they would like to expand the festival's events outside of Halesworth, but still have the town's new arts centre, The Cut, as its focal point.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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