Carnival is saved by last gasp arts grant

Preston's Caribbean Carnival makes its way through the streets.
Preston's Caribbean Carnival makes its way through the streets.
Share this article

Preston’s most dazzling outdoor event of the year – the spectacular Caribbean Carnival – has been spared the axe thanks to Arts Council cash.

The city’s annual calypso party, now in its 44th year, was on the brink of being abandoned this year because funding had all-but dried up.

Dancers perform their routines along Deepdale Road

Dancers perform their routines along Deepdale Road

But organisers have heard their application for a grant from Arts Council England has been successful, sparking celebrations across the city.

The funding, together with cash from national charity The Foyle Foundation and sponsorship from Turtle Bay restaurant and Preston accountants McDade Roberts, means the carnival will go ahead on Sunday, June 10.

The carnival committee is still looking for more sponsorship to make the whole day a bigger success. But a spokesperson said: “Without (this) funding the carnival could not have gone ahead. Now Preston is once again allowed to prove how good we are at getting into the carnival spirit.”

The carnival, which will begin with a colourful procession around Deepdale, is expected to draw a crowd of 15,000 to see the spectacular costumes which have been a feature of the event for more than four decades.

The procession makes its way through Deepdale

The procession makes its way through Deepdale

The event was under threat in 2015, but managed to survive. In 2016 organisers had to cancel the showpiece procession through the city centre because of money problems after both the city and county councils withdrew their funding.

Last year the procession returned, but only a shortened version around Deepdale, which will continue this year before a huge family fun day on Moor Park.