South Ribble to lay on a Platinum Jubilee party fit for a Queen

A pop concert will be the jewel in the crown when South Ribble celebrates the Queen's Platinum Jubilee next summer.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:58 pm

Plans are already underway to stage Music in the Park in Leyland as part of a long Bank Holiday weekend in June.

And organisers will have a budget of more than £200,000 to lay on an event fit for a Queen.

Councillors will be asked to rubber stamp the plans at a meeting of the South Ribble cabinet next week.

Leyland Festival in 2019 attracted a bumper crowd.

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    Talks have already begun with acts to take the stage at Worden Park on the special Bank Holiday Friday on June 3 - the day before the annual Leyland Festival.

    The town's main street, Hough Lane, will be closed off to traffic to allow food and drink businesses to spread out and cater for thousands expected to arrive from outside Leyland.

    On Festival day on the Saturday there will be an orchestral Proms in the Park concert. And other acts, including Lancashire Hotpots, jazz bands and Leyland Band, will also perform, making it the biggest weekend of events the borough has ever seen.

    The Friday concert will feature artists from the 1980s, similar to the first-ever Music in the Park event which was planned for 2020 but had to be called off due to Covid.

    There will be more acts than ever before for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in Leyland.

    Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley was lined up to headline that show, although organisers are staying tight-lipped over who will feature in 2022.

    South Ribble's Jubilee weekender will start on the Thursday and that event will be a joint affair between the council and the Leyland Festival Committee.

    There will be special food and drinks tents serving Pimms and Prosecco, Champagne and strawberries and afternoon tea. Vintage fairground rides will be on offer and families will be encouraged to take a picnic to the showfield.

    There will also be theatre performances, an opportunity to meet children's TV characters and the park will be decorated with Union Jacks and bunting.

    Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley was lined up for last year's Music in the Park event which was sadly cancelled due to Covid.

    It is hoped the council budget of £208,000 for the event will be recouped largely from ticket sales.

    "The investment in this weekend of events will have a far reaching impact on the local economy," says a report to be presented to the cabinet on Wednesday.

    "It will attract visitors who will not only enjoy the entertainment but spend their money in local hospitality and retail businesses meaning it forms part of our strategy to recover from the pandemic.

    "We will look to involve local businesses in the event itself and we will support those in the town and service centres to take advantage of it by encouraging visitors to spend time in Leyland town centre and enjoy the rest of the borough while they are here.

    The council plans to close off the main street in Leyland for the event.

    "Events of this nature can contribute hundreds of thousands of pounds to the local economy and we will undertake surveys with visitors and businesses to assess the impact to allow us to plan ahead for future years as we want to host events of regional and national importance here in South Ribble."

    The Queen's Platinum Jubilee will celebrate Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne. The actual anniversary is February 6, but the nation will mark it on the May Bank Holiday, extended by an extra day's holiday.