LETTER: Saddened to see festival axed

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I was very saddened to see that the Horsham Festival of Cricket has been axed for financial reasons and that district council leader Ray Dawe cannot support the event due to budget restraints.

The festival brings hundreds of people into Horsham from all over the county and beyond and it needs to be saved, and a main title sponsor found not for one or two years, continuing a hand to mouth deal, but for many years.

Where do we find a sponsor who could fulfil this role? Perhaps the solution is to ask the people who are about to upturn the lives of all residents of Horsham. Who are these people? Why, Mr Blevins and his company Liberty. Liberty appears to have plenty of money to spend. Perhaps they could spend a little more to help Horsham, if that truly is their aim, by sponsoring the festival for the next 10, 15 or 20 years whilst they continue to create misery for North Horsham.

When Liberty’s work is finished so could their sponsorship but the festival would have been saved.

Chris Gilbert

Rusper Road, Horsham

A spokesman for Horsham District Council replies:

It’s 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. 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. 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, like all councils, we face a far from easy financial situation and we are simply not in a position to use public money to take over sponsorship of events such as this one, which the existing private sector sponsors no longer believe it viable.

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