A new fund has been launched to help local groups with the running of their outdoor events in Northumberland this year.
It comes after the county council announced changes in the way it deals with events as part of its budget savings plans for 2019/20.
Previously, free support services, including road closures, rubbish collection and litter picking, were provided to the organisers of a wide range of community, cultural and sporting events.
From June 1 this year, the council will no longer offer these services free and will charge event organisers to provide them.
This will apply to all events with the exception of Remembrance Day Parades and Armed Forces Parades, which will continue to receive support free of charge.
Paul Jones, director of local services, said: “We greatly value the contribution that cultural, sporting, community and other events make to the quality of life and economy of our county and want to help event organisers to adjust to the changes over the coming year.
“Our new Event Fund will provide some one-off transitional financial support for the first year to those community groups, clubs, charities and local councils that have previously received free support services from the county council.
“This support will enable them to have some more time to review and plan how they can organise and fund their events, so in future years they are financially sustainable.
“By seeking to recover these costs, we are able to safeguard other key front-line services that ensure the county remains an attractive place to live, work in or visit.”
Application forms and more information on how to apply are available on the council’s website at www.northumberland.gov.uk and searching for Community Chest.
Event organisers are advised to apply as quickly as possible as applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, until the event fund has been fully allocated.
The deadline for the first round of applications is Monday, April 22, with applicants being notified before the end of April. The deadline for the second round of applications will be Monday, June 17, 2019.
Alternatively, for further information, groups can write to: Community Regeneration Team, Economy and Regeneration Service, Place Directorate, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth NE61 2EF.