Stamford Feast organiser confident event will go ahead despite funding blow

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THE organiser of a food festival is confident that the event will go ahead, despite losing a major funding application.

Ali Hawley-Smith needs to raise more than £17,500 to put on the first Stamford Feast on the Meadows on Sunday, May 29.

She learned this week that the event did not qualify for a £9,750 grant from Lincolnshire County Council’s Communities Grant.

But Ali has already secured £11,000 in funding and is hoping that more businesses and traders will come forward to support the event.

The Feast, which will celebrate locally produced food, was originally going to cost £23,000 but Ali has reduced this to about £17,500 by cutting costs.

She said of the grant: “It is sad news because it would have been a lovely buffer.

“It would have given us less pressure in getting funding from other areas.

“It is going to be a home grown event.

“It will be Stamford led and we will not be beaten.

“It will happen, it just means that I have got to work that bit harder.

“It will definitely go ahead, there is no doubt about that.”

The event missed out on the county council communities grant as the Feast did not meet the criteria.

Some of the bodies which have been given money to the event so far include Grass Roots Task Fund, Stamford Town Council, Cummins Generator Technologies, Ted Taylor Amusements, New College Stamford and The George Hotel.

Ali has also made applications to a number of businesses in the area and is waiting to hear back.

The event will also have room to accommodate 100 stalls on the day and so far Ali has sold 49 of these.

She is now urging more traders to support the event.

Stamford Chamber of Trade has also agreed to fund a Park and Ride scheme to ensure that there are no parking problems on the day.

Visitors will be able to park in four locations in the town and then pick up shuttle buses between 9.30am and 8.30pm to the Meadows.

Car parks taking part in the scheme are at Malcolm Sargent School, Empingham Road; New College Stamford, Drift Road; Stamford Junior School, Kettering Road; and C&G Concrete, Uffington Road.

The parking fee and return shuttle bus costs £2 per car.

The event will include cookery demonstrations along with an array of international food.

Entertainment will be provided by a Caribbean themed steel band, bongo drum players and a host of stalls.

Bangra, Turkish belly dancing and Salsa fit dancing demonstrations will also be held.

The event is also in need of volunteers to help out at the carparks and on the site.