Stalham festival plea after funding loss

Organisers of one of north Norfolk's biggest community festivals say they are in desperate need of help after losing a significant chunk of funding.The Happing Festival has taken place for the past four years and features events put on across the Stalham, Happisburgh and Hoveton areas from May to September.

Organisers of one of north Norfolk's biggest community festivals say they are in desperate need of help after losing a significant chunk of funding.

The Happing Festival has taken place for the past four years and features events put on across the Stalham, Happisburgh and Hoveton areas from May to September. They range from theatre productions to art and drama workshops.

But now organisers have been told they have not succeeded in securing a National Lottery Awards for All grant of �10,000 - which makes up roughly half of what the festival costs to put on.

Actress Judi Daykin, chairman of Happing Partnership, said the organising team had been hit hard by the news.


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She added: 'Not getting the Awards for All grant means we have lost a huge plank of our funding. We have got a lot lined up for the festival this year and we were hoping to be quite ambitious this year.

'We were also hoping to subsidise more community events this year, from drama workshops to holding writing sessions as well.'

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Included in the plans were two classical concerts and a show from a specialist outdoor theatre company, as well as a visit by rock musician Rick Wakeman, who lives in Norfolk.

Ms Daykin has urged any businesses or organisations that can help with funding to get in touch.

She said: 'Losing the funding has left us reeling a bit, but we have not given up the fight. We are looking for someone who can help us out. We know people are still recovering from the recession and its effects, but we are trying to provide something for a part of Norfolk which is often overlooked.'

The festival faced problems with funding last year as well. The committee discovered in April, a few weeks before the festival's start, that they had not secured Big Lottery funding. But at the eleventh hour enough alternative funding was found to allow the programme to go ahead, featuring nearly 50 events.

Last year's festival included classical music from the Locrian Ensemble and Tippett Quartet, films, comedy, a musical, community choirs, jazz, art exhibitions, a midsummer walk, fetes, a flower festival and a scarecrow convention.

w Anyone interested in providing sponsorship can contact the festival organisers on 01692 580525.

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