A fast-growing summer festival has been handed a £15,000 boost in the form of a grant from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
The Eid Fusion Festival takes place in Ropner Park and is a celebration of the end of Ramadan with live music, food and family fun.
Organised by the Friends of Ropner Park (FoRP) group and Community Welfare Trust, the event has been running since 2014 and attracts more than 1,000 people throughout the day.
And as event management costs have risen to more than £20,000 the Council has agreed to provide grant support of £5,000 for each of its next three years.
Vicki Nicholson from FoRP said: “Our Eid Fusion Festival has gone from strength to strength and though we’ve had to cancel it this year due to the pandemic, it will be back next year.
“Over the years we’ve always managed to fund it through small grants but the kind of year on year growth we’re seeing is mirrored by a growth in costs, and what started out as something that cost us £4,000 to run is now costing in excess of £20,000.
“We’ve had grants from the Council before but we’re incredibly grateful for this three-year commitment and of course, the tremendous support and guidance we receive from council officers when it comes to putting on this increasingly popular event.
“We’re busy planning for the return of some of our other events such as ‘Bark in the Park’ and our food festival too.”
Councillor Jim Beall, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, added: “The Eid Fusion Festival is a real success story – it’s an event that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds in a wonderful setting.
“It promotes community cohesion and mutual understanding of different cultures, customs and traditions, and it’s been great to see its success in recent years. Our grant support will help that continue.
“Of course, this is just one of an increasing number of year-round events across the Borough we are committed to supporting through a mix of financial help, safety measures and ‘in kind’ support like traffic management, loan of equipment and waiving of fees.
“Others include BIFF, Thornaby Show, and the Christmas events in Norton and Yarm and I’d like to thank our events team for all the work they do in this regard.”