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Bilton Gala Under Threat

Written by Harrogate Informer

The organisers of Bilton Gala in Harrogate are asking the community to show their support or face losing the event for good.

Falling visitor numbers and a shortage of funds have forced the committee to consider the future of the event which was first staged in 1977.

Attendance has dropped from 5,000 people in 2014 to under 2,000 people for the last two years, with this year’s Gala making a loss of more than £700.

Any profits from the event go into the Bilton Community Fund to support local good causes, but a lack of money has made it increasingly difficult to provide grants.

The committee held a public meeting at Bilton Community Centre on 5 August to discuss several options, which include seeking more sponsorship, passing the Gala to another organisation or winding it up completely.

Chairman Stuart Frost said: We’re very grateful to the small number of people who came along to give their views and offer suggestions. It would be a great shame if the Gala is consigned to history after 42 years. There are just five volunteers on the committee and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed organising the Gala, but the reality is that we cannot continue with such limited resources and so little support. With the agreement of those who attended the meeting, we’re inviting anyone interested in taking over the Gala to contact the committee by 5 September. If no-one comes forward, we will have no other option but to call it a day. From a personal point of view, it’s been a privilege and a pleasure to chair the committee for the last 15 years.

Potential volunteers and any businesses interested in providing sponsorship are asked to send an e-mail to enquiries@biltongala.org.uk