Stamford Town Partnership to fold after Stamford Feast event

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A TOWN partnership will disband after its next event.

Stamford Feast, which will take place on The Meadows in Stamford, on Monday, June 4, will be the last event organised by Stamford Town Partnership.

The board members decided on Monday to wind up the partnership, which is a community interest company, after the feast.

Partnership co-chairman Philip Sagar said the decision was purely financial.

He said: “Getting hold of funding for our events is getting extremely difficult so we have to look at the options going forward.

“Because we are a community interest company and there are costs involved with that, it means whatever money we have got is going into legal costs.”

The partnership is made up of representatives from Stamford Town Council, South Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, New College Stamford, businesses, Stamford Civic Society and Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Mr Sagar said everyone had agreed that winding up the company after the feast was the way forward.

He said: “Everyone was united on this, there were no dissenting voices.

“I am not prepared to preside over a body that has no money and everyone felt the same. We can’t achieve anything.”

Mr Sagar is hoping Stamford Town Council, which is helping to organise the feast and has helped with the Christmas Festival in the past, will take on responsibility.

He said: “Our main priority is to ensure the Christmas Festival is secure going forward and to hopefully hand it over to Stamford Town Council, which has worked closely with us on the last festival.

“It is about the most appropriate body picking up the baton and moving forward.

“I hope the town council will be supportive of taking on the festival and if not, it might be that a new partnership will rise under a different guise.”

Mr Sagar is hoping the urban group of the partnership will be able to merge with Stamford Civic Society.

Stamford town councillor and partnership board member John Dawson revealed the news at a town council meeting on Tuesday.

He said: “There may be some feelings left from the past but we have got to look at what we can get out of it for the town council so these events can move forward for the benefit of everyone in Stamford.”

Stamford Vision was set up in 2000 as part of an initiative called Vision 2015, with the purpose of considering what the town should be like by 2015.

Its first scheme was the £1.4m Gateway Project which revamped Red Lion Square and Sheep Market. However the project drew criticism from the town council and some residents. A town referendum was held in 2006 when people voted against the proposal, but it went ahead anyway.

Stamford Vision became known as Stamford Town Partnership in 2007 to reflect the group as a partnership between all layers of local government, businesses, the voluntary and education sectors and community groups.

The partnership has been responsible for an annual Christmas Festival, an historical re-enactment weekend in 2010 and the Stamford Feast.

Its urban group has spent £20,000 revamping the east end of the High Street to include new benches and floral displays, as well as raising awareness of traffic problems in that area.