logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 31 - May 2003

Abbeyfield Festival postponed
by Lisa Swift

Green City Action (GCA) have decided to postpone this year's multicultural festival because of delays in funding from New Deal. Last year's festival, supported by New Deal and held in July, was a great success with thousands of people attending and hundreds of people contributing to stalls and entertainment.

New Deal funding has now been agreed but the directors of GCA have decided to put back the festival until later in the summer so that the high quality and participation levels can match previous festivals.

From the very early days of New Deal for Communities, Green City Action were told the Festival was something that New Deal was keen to support, but GCA have found getting the money has been far from easy. In recent months the process has been held up by requests for more information. Lee Furness, manager at GCA, explained,

“We submitted the first Register of Interest Form (RIF) for a three year project back in July 2001. It has taken nearly two years of continuous writing and rewriting of proposals and a lot of stress to get the festival project approved.

“I’ve raised £80,000–100,000 per year in the last seven years for Green City Action projects. I would consider myself an experienced fund raiser. The New Deal experience has been so disempowering, it made me feel like a novice.”

Lee also explained how other funding promised from New Deal had taken three months to arrive in the bank, causing significant difficulties for the community organisation and impacting on the decision to postpone the festival.

John Clark, Chief Executive of New Deal, told the Messenger,

“The festival project was delayed because of issues around value for money. The project has been approved under the condition that the festival becomes more self-sustainable and we will be working with Green City Action to find other sources of funding to go along side New Deal money. We want to put the festival on a sound footing for the future.”

Rose Ardron, Chair of the BNDfC Partnership Board said,

“The funding application was approved within the timescale we were advised was necessary to avoid delay and we have been making strenuous efforts to transfer the money as quickly as possible. We are working closely with Green City Action to move things forward.”

Green City Action have now appointed a company, Jackie Fields and Associates, to run this year’s festival because there was not enough time to run a recruitment process to employ an individual. No date has yet been set for this year’s festival.


Peole at the last Abbeyfield Festival.