Thursday, 27 May 2010

Du Maurier Festival is great - but how much subsidy should it get?

Cornwall Council has commissioned an independent survey of visitors to this year's Du Maurier Festival in Fowey to help determine the level of subsidy that the festival will get in future years.

At present, the festival gets a large subsidy in cash and officer time from the Council - more than £100,000 which comes from Cornish taxpayers. Of course it generates far more money in terms of business for local firms.

The present position for the Council is that it wants to gradually reduce the level of subsidy to longer standing festivals like Du Maurier so that they become self sufficient.

No one can consider the Council's commitment to Cornish arts and culture to be anything less than total. We are currently bidding for European Region of Culture status and hope to host the Manifesta event in the coming years. Both of these will need significant council investment but will also draw down huge amounts of matched funding from other sources and will bring thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of extra visitors to Cornwall.

There are many other events in Cornwall which currently receive no subsidy but might be able to grow with small (and short term) bit of support from the Council. In the long term, cutting the subsidy given to the Du Maurier festival is sensible and will not threaten its viability. The question is simply how soon and how fast the subsidy is withdrawn.

1 comment:

Paul Walter said...

I'm a great fan of Daphne Du Maurier. Indeed only last year I marched around the countryside trying to get a glimpse of Menabilly (managed to see one chimney pot). But we have to accept that the ability of her name to draw visitors will decline as the years progress. Unless of course, someone re-films Rebecca or Jamaica Inn. Sad but true.