Chamber Chat - Bill Johnston
The recent Morecambe Carnival was a spectacular success for the District – a 3.4 million economy boost with 55,000 locals and visitors from far and wide attending. This is an incredible achievement when you consider that the event is managed by volunteers, all with their own careers, who work all year on the event. Congratulations to the Brayshaws and the whole committee for such an achievement.
However, what’s also impressive is that it’s funded, staged and executed entirely through in kind support, donations and various advertising support from businesses. Visitors and locals alike look at us in surprise when they learn this. Aside from ‘in kind’ support from the City Council who meet the costs of the clear up (for which the committee is extremely grateful), Morecambe Carnival receives no public money. It costs circa £80,000 to deliver and around 70 companies support the event in many ways. It’s a great example of what can be achieved when the local business community comes together. On top of the all-important sponsorship, much is provided ‘in kind’ by businesses. From electrical work to printing, catering to social media & website management, training and room hire, merchandise to haulage and infrastructure support….the list goes on. Even the town’s media brands, The Bay and Visitor, work together providing free pre-publicity and the all-important communications over the weekend itself.
Planning for MC18 is already underway, and it’s clear that it’s going to get bigger. To meet the expectations of locals & visitors we need more public-spirited business owners and managers on board. To deliver a bigger event safely, with a bigger economic benefit, costs more. By increasing the business support base further and working together, we really can make Morecambe Carnival, and other events, flagship examples of what can be achieved through business community collaboration.