Councillors cash saves Byron Festival

Three Hucknall members of Nottinghamshire County Council have come to the rescue of the town’s prestigious Byron Festival.

The committee which organises the annual event suffered a massive blow when it was told that it would not be receiving any grant aid from the county council this year.

But Coun John Wilkinson, John Wilmott and Alice Grice are providing the £2,500 requested from the individual budgets they receive for community projects.

The financial crisis had caused an atmosphere of doom and gloom at the start of the committee’s meeting in Hucknall’s John Godber Centre last week.

But this was transformed to a feeling of joy when Coun Wilkinson arrived halfway through the meeting to announce that the money needed would be forthcoming after all.

The county council are facing a momentous challenge by having to save £154 million over the next three years.

But Coun Wilkinson said he and the other two Hucknall members felt that the Byron Festival was a very important event for the town and well worthy of their support.

The committee chairman, Ken Purslow, said: “It is a really generous gesture on the part of the three county councillors and it came as a big surprise to us.

“Without this cash aid, it would have been a real struggle to hold the festival this year.”

Mr Purslow said the committee were also very grateful for a grant of £450 from Ashfield District Council.

The festival, which is based mainly in Hucknall, will take place from Saturday June 28 to Sunday July 6.

The well-varied programme will include a heritage day and book fair, a ‘poems and pints’ evening, a sponsored swim and a wreath-laying ceremony at Hucknall Parish Church.