Mile Cross Festival WILL come back but needs cash injection

Mile Cross Community Festival said that 2021 was their last event, but organisers are striving to bounce back next year

Mile Cross Community Festival said that 2021 was their last event, but organisers are striving to bounce back next year - Credit: Archant

A gaggle of community volunteers are striving to get their hands on vital funding to ensure Mile Cross Community Festival lives on for future generations.

Although depleting funds at the hands of the pandemic mean that the festival won't run for 2022, dedicated festival volunteers are determined to get the event back up and running.

Mile Cross community Festival at Sloughbottom Park on Saturday.

Mile Cross Community Festival at Sloughbottom Park, 2011 - Credit: Archant

The 2021 event was thought to have been the last festival due to a lack of committee members but, thanks to a call for volunteers in the Evening News, a wealth of new blood is now aboard to showcase all the positives Mile Cross has on offer. 

Christine Lester, 72, has lived in Mile Cross since 1989 and has been on the festival's committee for two decades.

Mile Cross Festival committee member Christine Lester

Mile Cross Festival committee member Christine Lester - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

"Coming out of Covid, we decided to put on a festival because people needed the pick-me-up," she said. "But all the funding available was going towards Covid-related projects, such as foodbanks and delivering to the elderly."

In recent years, the festival - which costs £2,500 to put on - has been financially supported by Comic Relief, lottery funding and Norwich City Council.

But a redirection of funding has left the future of community events, like the Mile Cross festival, hanging in the balance.

Headway Majorettes' trainer Elisa Cork with her young team of performers ready to make their debut i

Headway Majorettes' trainer Elisa Cork with her young team of performers ready to make their debut in the Mile Cross Community Festival in 1990. - Credit: Archant library

She added: "It's not something you can properly put on at very short notice.

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"We're holding off this year so we can bounce back bigger and better next time."

Mile Cross Projects and Events Group (MXPEG) was established nine months ago as a projects and events group on the suggestion of Norwich City Council.

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Simon Floyd of Mile Cross Projects and Events Group (MXPEGS) - Credit: Robert Eke

Simon Floyd leads MXPEG: "The Mile Cross Projects and Events Group was set up last year to support things happening in Mile Cross.

"The group shows there's lots of goodwill and community-minded people, and we look forward to working the festival - and others in the future - to ensure Mile Cross is casting off its unfair reputation in the eyes of the city."

Mile Cross Festival, July 1987. Picture: Archant Library

Mile Cross Festival, July 1987. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Christine added: "Mile Cross is the most deprived ward of Norwich. We've got the highest number of people on benefits and it's really important that we do something as a group. The festival allows people to come together and enjoy the event."

The final Mile Cross Festival at Sloughbottom Park. Byline: Sonya Duncan

The final Mile Cross Festival at Sloughbottom Park. Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan