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A new fund could be created to help more community-driven events and festivals to take place in Lichfield.

Crowds enjoying a festival in Lichfield

The proposal is included in a report on a draft policy due to be heard by members of Lichfield District Council’s cabinet next week.

The Events and Festivals Policy document outlines how the council intends to improve the processes around the way they are managed and administered going forward.

Figures from the local authority suggest more than 340,000 visitors each year are attracted to events held in the city, generating more than £5million for the local economy.

The report to cabinet is also proposing a budget of £20,000 to help community-driven events be added to the calendar.

Cllr Iain Eadie

“Subject to proposals meeting the relevant criteria, new events – particularly those that derive from and support local communities across the district – would be welcome, adding variety to the annual programme.

“To encourage new events that serve to meet local community needs and recognising that meeting associated costs may be an issue for some events, it is proposed that the council agrees a fund that organisers could bid in to where necessary.

“It is suggested that a fund of £20,000 per annum be available for this purpose with authority given to the cabinet member for visitor economy in consultation with the head of economic growth and development to agree or otherwise requests for support where submitted.”

Report from Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

Among the other proposals in the draft policy is a new two-stage process for those hoping to put on an event in the city.

In a report, Cllr Iain Eadie, cabinet member for the visitor economy, said:

“To ensure that events are indeed suitable and will deliver the necessary benefits to the district and its communities, alongside the draft policy is a process which it is suggested should be followed to allow the council and its partners to assess and evaluate proposed events when these come forward.

“A two part process is proposed involving an initial stage whereby proposals will be judged by a panel of officers against a set of criteria and scored accordingly.

“Where an in principle approval is duly granted and confirmed in consultation with the respective cabinet member for visitor economy, then event organisers will be invited to submit detailed proposals and subject to the details being acceptable, then the granting of the relevant consents through existing procedures.”

Report from Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Eadie added that it was important for the city’s events and festivals programme to be strong post-coronavirus.

“The events are a source of community spirit and pride for local residents, and help to create a positive image of Lichfield and one that is inclusive for all.

“A policy of the kind being suggested will help ensure events and festivals take place which build upon the successes that have occurred to date and going forward assist in maintaining a high standard and accessible events programme.”

Report from Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

The proposals will be heard at the cabinet meeting on 6th October.

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