Loughton Festival’s desperate call for sponsors

THE Loughton Festival is facing an uncertain future after a disappointing number of sponsors have come forward to support the event.

The series of literary and historical talks, walks, and musical entertainment is in its fifth year but festival director, Sue Taylor, is worried this could be its last as we know it and is urging local businesses to step in and save the event.

She said: “We’ve already had to cancel a planned rock day due to a lack of funds and are facing severe cuts to next year’s programme unless we can get a grant.

“In the current climate, and with the Olympics being given so much funding, it looks unlikely that we’ll get one large enough, so we really need sponsors.”

Mrs Taylor told the Recorder the cutbacks would affect the whole area but she’s hopeful businesses will come to her aid.

She explained: “Thousands of people come to the festival every year and spend a lot of money throughout Loughton. If we have to downsize, then it will really hit the entire area.”

The festival, which started in 2006, has grown from two days of talks to a seven- week long celebration of Loughton’s rich history and doubles as a fundraiser for a different charity each year.

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Mrs Taylor said: “This year we will be raising money for Guide Dogs For the Blind and other local charities.

“We want all of the money that comes in as donations or from ticket revenue to go to our charities, rather than pay our bills, so we really need help.

“For some reason a lot of people think that all of the performers and speakers are volunteers and although some are, many are professional speakers and performers and they have to be paid.”

For more information on the festival, which takes place at venues across Loughton from March 19 - May 7, visit www.loughtonfestival.org.uk.

If your business would like to sponsor the event call Sue Taylor on 020 8508 2512.