Funding for city tops £100m after carnival

The Carnival King and Queen Competition at this year's Caribbean Carnival
The Carnival King and Queen Competition at this year's Caribbean Carnival
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Lottery grants for the city have topped £100m for the first time following a £49,000 award to this year’s Caribbean Carnival.

Preston has received £100,040,624 from distributing bodies since Lottery funding began in 1995, boosting art, charity and sport across the area.

This year, cash has been given to causes including Preston Panthers, Lancashire Bombers wheelchair basketball club, and Lancashire Sports Partnership.

But city representatives have expressed concerns that communities have to rely on external funding, because of cuts to local councils.

Coun Martyn Rawlinson, cabinet member for resources, said: “All the local institutions involved in bidding for lottery funding in Preston over the years, not least Preston council, should be proud of what they have achieved with the funding. Important buildings, open spaces and cultural events have especially benefitted from National Lottery funding.”

However, he added: “Since the Guild, the council hasn’t funded anything towards the Caribbean Carnival. We stopped funding the Mela and the Riversway Festival as well to help develop other events and the city centre offer.

“They’ve been going elsewhere for funding since then, the Riversway Festival hasn’t happened this year but the carnival has done well.”

The carnival was awarded £49,375 from Arts Council England in May, and Coun Rawlinson said: “It’s a shame it’s not us any more and it’s people from outside the area funding them, so the people deciding whether they get the money aren’t from around here.”

He added: “It’s worrying that many aspects of civic and community life are becoming reliant on lottery funding due to cuts to local councils by central government.”

According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport lottery grants database, grants totalling £28,974,753,416 had been awarded since 1995.