Sussex Cricket has confirmed that the Horsham Festival of Cricket will not go ahead in 2016, as the festival is financially unviable without third party support.
It has been widely publicised that the Horsham Festival has been under threat for the past few seasons, and the event only took place in 2014 due to a private donation at the eleventh hour. Despite continuous focus and effort we have not been able to secure a headline sponsor since 2011. The festival has received limited support from the local business community in recent years. In addition, a large downturn in corporate hospitality has made the staging of five days of cricket (a County Championship match and a Royal London One-Day Cup match) not possible at the outground in 2016.
Jim May, Chairman of Sussex Cricket said, “In recent years we are one of the very few counties that has played two festivals away from our headquarters.
“We regret that in 2016, we are unable to make the sums work at Horsham. Staging festival cricket in other parts of the country is helped by a mixture of financial support from tourist boards, local authorities and corporate sponsors who value the benefit that county matches bring to their community and to the local economy.
“Zac Toumazi, Chief Executive of Sussex Cricket and his team have worked tirelessly with our partners at Horsham Sports Club to engage the business community.”
Zac Toumazi added, “I’m very disappointed that the festival is not taking place. I sincerely hope that this is a temporary pause in this long tradition.
“It should be made clear that Sussex is not closing the door on a return to Horsham. There is no reason why, in a more supportive financial climate, the Festival at Cricket Field Road cannot take place in the future. The Sussex Commercial Team, along with Horsham Sports Club, will continue their efforts to try to find a sponsor for the future.
“We remain committed to taking the game around the county and Sussex will hold a festival at the Friends of Arundel Castle Cricket Club between 22nd and 26th June. The Arundel Festival will feature a County Championship and a NatWest T20 Blast fixture taking place against Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire respectively.”
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