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Greenwich's longest running festival Plumstead Make Merry cancelled
GREENWICH’S longest running festival has been cancelled this year due to financial problems, organisers have announced.
The Plumstead Make Merry has been taking place annually for 32 years on the common.
But the loss of more than £2,000 funding from Greenwich Council as part of its cuts package has led to the collapse of this year’s event.
The money is used to partly fund the volunteer-run festival’s infrastructure and, without it, organisers say they won’t be able to afford the usual marquees, sound systems and children’s events.
Entertainment coordinator Sarah Harper said: “We’re devastated that there will not be a festival this year, and we know that we are not alone in this feeling.”
Last year, over 6,000 people visited the festival.
Ms Harper said: “Our funding cut will have an impact on everyone that lives in Plumstead, and beyond.”
Organisers now intend to fundraise throughout the year so that the festival can return in 2012.
She said: “We are determined to show that the community is bigger than the cuts, and that we can survive.”
It kicks off with a benefit bash including music, karaoke and games from 7.30pm on April 16 at the Greenwich Rugby Club Pavilion on Plumstead Common. Entry will be £5.
Another event at the same venue will take place on June 11 - the day Make Merry was due to take place.
For information visit plumsteadmakemerry.co.uk or contact the Facebook group.
A Greenwich Council spokeswoman said: "Greenwich council has a proud record of supporting community events like Plumstead Make Merry.
"However, the council is facing the unprecedented financial position of having to find savings of £63m because of the withdrawal of funds from the government.
"This inevitably impacts on our ability to support community events in the borough as we attempt to safeguard frontline services.
"The council will however do all it can to continue to support local community events. In the case of Plumstead Make Merry we suggested the organisers put in a bid for lottery funding and offered to help prepare their application."
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