19th Sep, 2019

Droitwich's Mayflower 400 celebration set for town centre after funding dispute

Harry Leach 11th Jul, 2019

DROITWICH’S Mayflower 400 Anniversary Community Commemoration looks likely to take place in the town centre after a funding dispute over the original plan to hold it at the Chateau Impney.

It was hoped the bash on Independence Day 2020, was schduled to take place at the Chateau but Coun Alex Sinton, one of the organisers, revealed the council had changed its mind.

He said: “I don’t want to be overly-critical but the Chateau Impney has led us on.

“It made out it really wanted to hold the event but has since pulled out.

“However, rather than cancelling the event entirely, I think we should hold it in the town centre.

“It would be a really entertaining day, full of street theatre acts for residents to enjoy.

“It important for us to showcase our local talent and it’s a great opportunity for us to get the whole town involved.”

According to planning officers the event is likely to cost the council around £30,000.

Rod Spollon, the managing director at the Chateau Impney, rubbished the idea it ‘led the council down the garden path’, insisting he was in favour of holding the event all from the beginning.

“I was personally involved in all the Mayflower meetings held with Chateau Impney and I was very happy to hold the event here.

“However I was candid from the outset and made it clear to the council we are a commercial venue and if we were to partially, or fully close the site, it would come at a cost.

“The council wanted a private business to take on the enterprise and bear the financial risk, which we were prepared to do if the numbers stacked up.”

Mr Spollon said he had already spent his own money on funding the project’s feasibility study, undertaken by the council’s preferred event organiser.

According to Mr Spollon the study revealed the event would make a significant loss despite setting ambitious sales figures.

This was before considering the additional cost of partially or fully closing the hotel.

He added: “The council was willing to put in £30,000 but it would cost significantly more and was forecast to make a loss despite the cash injection.”

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