Fears for town show’s future

BOSTON’S annual Community Showcase is in danger of being cancelled next year if funding cannot be found.

Last week’s free event in Central Park attracted thousands who came to watch the attractions, take part in activities and meet the 117 local voluntary groups showcasing what they do.

But with grant funding options now thin on the ground, the event’s organisers are fearing for its future.

“There is a big danger it won’t go ahead,” said co-ordinator Mandy Exley, of South Lincs Community Voluntary Service (SLCVS).

“We are looking for anyone who values Community Showcase to sponsor us.

“To put on such a huge event for the town would normally cost around £100,000 but we manage to do it for £14,000.”

Regarding the funding for the 2013 event she said there is ‘nothing in the pot’.

“It’s now a question of me having to find it,” she said.

Sponsorship has previously come from the Len Medlock Charitable Trust, the Migration Impact Fund, Lincoln Community Foundation and the Lottery.

Coun Paul Kenny, who jointly co-ordinates the event, said: “This year has probably been the best year we have had since Showcase started in 2006.

“We have had to find new funders and to date we have been successful, but we are in a national budget squeeze and wouldn’t want to give the impression we have secured money for next year.”

Showcase gives local groups and clubs a platform to recruit new members, charities to fundraise and people in need of help to find the right services for them.

“I think people would be quite mortified if didn’t happen next year,” said Ms Exley. “It’s a fun free day out for people, and the most amazing way of bringing the community together.

“We need to find new sources of funding. If anyone has any suggestions of organisations and businesses I can approach for grants, I’d like to hear from you.”

Showcase is staged in conjunction with Boston Borough Council, Boston Mayflower, SLCVS, North Sea Camp and many other community volunteers.

l To sponsor the event call 01205 315931.