HYNDBURN'S popular summer festivals are under threat after the plug was pulled on funding.
Thousands of people enjoyed fun events such as Clayton's Lark in the Park and Church's Scatty in Gatty last year.
But organisers of 10 festivals will today receive a bombshell letter from Hyndburn Council telling them that funding has been withdrawn, leaving them without any financial support or the help of a festivals officer.
The letter states that cash provided by the Neighbourhood Renewal Funding initiative, which provided a working budget to support festivals and employ a festivals officer, Amran Ghoni, was being withdrawn from today (Fri).
Community services director Steve Tanti adds: "The implication of this is that the council will be unable to continue to provide the same level of support as in the past.
"We will endeavour to provide the maximum support we can from very reduced resources but in most cases this will be in an advisory role rather than a 'doing' role."
To make matters worse, festival organisers will have to obtain their own public liability insurance cover for the events.
Barbara Cliffe, chairman of Church Central Residents' Association which organises Scatty in Gatty, said: "The future of many festivals is very much in the balance.
"Funding for each event grows each year and we just don't have the money. Spiralling costs of insurance will make it almost impossible to fund a festival in Gatty Park. And if we don't have the festival we won't be able to raise funds for our children's Christmas party so that will be off as well.
"We estimated it would cost at least £10,000 to do all 10 festivals but it could be up to £17,000, we just don't know. I think some of the bigger festivals such as the one in Mercer Park will be OK. But the first festival, Roar in the Gore in Bullough Park, is only eight weeks away."
Parks manager Craig Horabin told the Observer: "All of the festivals are at the mercy of external funding. They are all worthy events and we will have to treat each one on a case-by-case basis and do a risk assessment."
The other festivals in danger are the Baxenden Bash, the Mela and Community Festival in Oak Hill Park, the Arrod Summer Sizzler, the Great Harwood Winter Warmer and events in Rishton, Arden Hall, Accrington, and Rhyddings Park, Oswaldtwistle.