Funds still needed for Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

PUBLISHED: 15:48 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 01:07 16 June 2010

CUTS have been made to the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival because funding has been hit by the recession. Three performances will no longer go ahead and the cost could leave organisers in the red. Organisers still need to raise over £11,000

CUTS have been made to the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival because funding has been hit by the recession.

Three performances will no longer go ahead and the cost could leave organisers in the red.

Organisers still need to raise over £11,000 - and hope to make up the difference by selling commercial merchandise during the festival.

Festival director Kimberly Clarke said: "We just don't know if we're going to sell anything, so we can't put it against the budget. We might end up with a big debit that the [Lyme Regis Development] Trust has to fund."

The research vessel Callista, which costs £3,000, is also likely to be dropped.

The lack of finance has been attributed to a late start fundraising and the current economic climate.

Ms Clarke said statutory funding authorities had less money available and companies could no longer give as generously as they had in the past.

She said: "It's such a fantastic event and there are so many people who want to participate that it's quite heartbreaking not to be able to accept every great opportunity to have them with us."

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre has had no funding and will have to charge for activities this year.

Organisers will also be charging for tent space and tickets for some events, but there will still be free activities..

The fifth Lyme Regis Fossil Festival takes place from April 29 to May 2. Last year, around 10,000 people attended and organisers are hoping for a similar number this year, but recognise it is weather dependent.

The Trust aims to create a classroom on the beach and is running a number of courses with the Natural History Museum and Field Studies Council.

The event will include marquees on the beach from Lyme Regis Museum, The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, and a Jurassic garden loaned from Abbotsbury.

The Natural History Museum, Natural England, The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site team, The National Oceanography Centre and the Dinosaur Runway will be back and providing activities.

There will also be other entertainment, including performances from BSharp.

The festival has already received financial support from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site team and Jurassic Trust, as well as Natural England, the Fine Family Foundation, Lyme Bay Holidays and Newlands Holidays


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