Lancashire Encounter Festival budget revealed

Volunteers during the 2016 Procession of Light
Volunteers during the 2016 Procession of Light

The Lancashire Encounter Festival will return to Preston later this year with a £95k cash injection.

The budget for the high profile event has been revealed this week as preparations start in earnest.

The city’s ruling cabinet members will be asked today to formally accept the cash offer from Arts Council England.

It forms part of ambitious plans for the festival - scheduled for September 21 to 23 - described as a “key cultural event” for the county.

Council bosses have budgeted a total of £218,930 for the event, including the Arts Council grant, in addition to contributions of £25k from the University of Central Lancashire, £3k from the Community Gateway Association and £28k from the Without Walls arts organisation.

The council will itself provide £40k with additional funds expected through sponsorship and other grants.

A total of £27.5k has been factored into the financial plan as current “unsecured” income but “if the balance of £27.5k isn’t forthcoming the expenditure budget will be reduced accordingly to ensure a balanced budget,” the report adds.

Cabinet members will be told today: “Lancashire Encounter will have a positive impact on economic regeneration, health and well-being and community cohesion, creating a vibrant sense of place.

“The establishment of a high quality biennial festival contributes to the ambition for Preston to be known as a cultural destination which is pivotal in creating a thriving visitor economy and compelling reason to visit, work, study or invest in the city.”

The report, compiled by the director of customer services Neil Fairhurst, reveals £143,340 will be allocated for “artistic spend.”