Festival cancelled

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A NORTHUMBERLAND seaside festival which has been running for over 10 years has fallen victim to spending cuts.

The Seahouses Festival, which began in 1999 and developed into a wide-ranging programme of events across the village, has been cancelled this year.

It was scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19.

However, there are hopes that it will return next year. The Seahouses Development Trust confirmed it will be working on something for 2012 and, funding-permitting, there will be a special event.

Graeme Cooper, of the Seahouses Development Trust, said: “Funding cutbacks have hit this year’s Seahouses Festival.

“Unfortunately, insufficient money and resources were available for the music stage and other events, so the organisers have made the difficult decision to place the festival on hold.

“However, we will be looking to come back in the future; it would be a real pity if Seahouses was without an event of this type because it’s something that is starting to attract a lot of interest from visitors out of the area.

“This year, we have been receiving a constant stream of phone calls and emails from people asking when the festival is happening – from holidaymakers, bus trip companies, tourist organisations, charities and care groups and musicians – we’ve been getting daily requests from all these people.

“But we only had the means to set up a bare-bones event, without the outdoor entertainment stage and the activities that visitors have come to expect.

“It wouldn’t have been up to scratch and might have harmed the festival’s reputation, so we decided it was better to wait until we are able to put on a really good event that will be worth coming along to.”

In previous years, the festival was organised by the development trust and counted the county council, the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership and the Heritage Lottery Fund among its sponsors.