‘Budget constraints’ mean no council support for Festival of Cricket

JPCT 230513 S13220190x 2nd day Horsham Cricket Festival. Sussex v Somerset at Cricketfield Road -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120130523150418
JPCT 230513 S13220190x 2nd day Horsham Cricket Festival. Sussex v Somerset at Cricketfield Road -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120130523150418
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The leader of Horsham District Council has said budget constraints have ruled them out of helping with Horsham Festival of Cricket sponsorship.

The annual event was omitted from the Sussex fixtures when they were released on Wednesday.

The festival brought a surge of visitors to the town every summer during its week-long stay and was no doubt one of the town’s biggest sporting fixtures.

But sponsorship has been a worry for years and an 11th-hour anonymous donation of a figure nearing £15,000 saved it in 2014.

There has been no main sponsor since 2012, combined with the fact support from local businesses has been in decline.

Although admitting its loss will be a ‘great pity’ council leader Ray Dawe believes it is local businesses that are better placed to ‘assess the economic value’.

He said: “It is a great pity for both the community and the local economy that Sussex Cricket no longer consider the Horsham Festival of Cricket to be viable from a commercial perspective.

“The council is pleased that it has been able to contribute to local sport and leisure in the past and it is now actively engaged in re-providing the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.

“However, we also have huge budget constraints and we are not able to support the considerable investment that this scale of sponsorship would entail.

“Clearly local businesses are best placed to assess the economic value of this type of event and we are aware that Sussex Cricket are maintaining a dialogue with the local business sector with a view to securing financial support from them.”

Plenty more reaction and comments in tomorrow’s West Sussex County Times.

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