Kilburn festival faces serious cut backs

A popular music and arts festival is being drastically scaled back after funding for the event was cut in half, claim its organisers. The Kilburn festival, which includes music and arts performances and film screenings, is due to take place in Gr

A popular music and arts festival is being drastically scaled back after funding for the event was cut in half, claim its organisers.

The Kilburn festival, which includes music and arts performances and film screenings, is due to take place in Grange Park, in Kilburn on July 8, but organisers say the event will be far smaller than in previous years because of a massive drop in donations.

The festival is funded through a mixture of public grants and private donations from residents and businesses, but the festival has been hit hard by a massive squeeze in budgets. Camden Council has halved the amount they give to the festival, while Brent Council has not contributed to this year's event.

The festival has grown in popularity since its inception and has become one of the highlights of the calendar in Kilburn, drawing together businesses, residents and community groups.


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But voluntary organisers who put on the yearly event say swingeing cuts in funding have left them dipping into their reserves to foot the bill.

Caren Owen, head of the Kilburn Festival's steering group, said: "It is such a shame. This festival should be something that builds and builds and builds, but instead we have to scale it back.

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"Last year the festival was ten days long, but this year it will be more like four, and we are still not sure we will be able to pay for everything.

"We have had to dip into our reserves, but we really didn't want to."

Businesses and councillors across Kilburn have rallied behind the festival, and called for funding to be increased in the future.

John Cooke, manager of The Good Ship, in Kilburn High Road, said: "I really do hope they get some funding as it is a good community festival."

Mary Arnold, Kilburn ward councillor, warned that it may be too late to apply for funding from Brent Council.

Cllr Arnold said: "The Kilburn festival is a very important event for the whole community and unfortunately the last administration cut the funding.

"I am looking at requesting funding from Brent Council but I think it might be too late, but we will do everything we can to get funding reinstated for the Christmas festival.

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