The plug has been pulled on the Boston Community Showcase after organisers fell £9,000 short in raising funds needed to put it on.
The Showcase started in 2005 as a one-day venture to highlight the work of the voluntary and community sector in and around Boston. Last year’s event in Central Park attracted thousands and was described by organisers as the ‘best yet’, but it has now been suspended for 2014.
Mandy Exley, from Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (CVS), was one of the founding members of the Showcase.
“I feel very upset and if I’m being honest I have had some tears over it,” she told The Standard.
“I’m terribly disappointed but at the end of the day you have to be realistic.”
She revealed the cost of putting on the event should be about £80,000 but thanks to ‘good will’ they had brought this down to £12,500.
This year they are some £9,000 short but, due to other commitments, the committee has been unable to secure the funding required.
“What we don’t want to do is deliver a half-hearted event people would be disappointed with,” said Mandy. “But we are not resting on our laurels. We will regroup and be back in 2015.”
Mandy paid tribute to the ‘passionate’ volunteers and organisations involved in the event.
The news comes after the town had a severely scaled-down Christmas event after Boston BID was kicked out by traders. The town also no longer enjoys Party in the Park event, leaving just the May Fair as Boston’s showpiece community event.
The Boston Community Showcase Partnership issued a statement to say: “Regrettably, at the meeting of the partners on January 30, 2014, we had to take the unusual decision of suspending the Boston Community Showcase event for this year.
“This decision was taken as a result of being unable to obtain the major funding support necessary to run this year’s event.
“Although there are some financial reserves in the event’s accounts this would not be sufficient to deliver the high standard that has come to be expected of the Boston Community Showcase.
“The organisers are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision.
“We acknowledge that the area’s voluntary and statutory organisations have been very supportive of this event over the years and appreciate they will be disappointed by this news – as are we.
“We are always extremely grateful for the support the Boston community gives to this event each year by supporting it in large numbers.”
The event is organised by the Boston Mayflower Housing Association, Lincolnshire CVS and Boston Borough Council.
Readers have been airing their frustrations at the loss of another community event for Boston. Here’s a selection of comments:
Darren Ruck (on Facebook): This is far from unusual. Christmas market & light switch on - cancelled. Party in the park - cancelled. Our town really is becoming an embarrassment.
Barbs Mehew (on Facebook): That’s a real shame. Hope the council get it sorted out so it still runs.
Andrew Dk Blackamore (on Facebook): Just what costs that much that means it can’t go ahead?
Jimmy Atterby (on Twitter): I fear Boston would be better described as a farce. I’m awaiting the cancellation of May Fair next!
Rob Lauberts (on Twitter): Will the town have anything left soon? Christmas Market cancelled , Showcase suspended. Who is promoting the town?