A statement from our Chair Frank McGarry on the challenges faced by Bo’ness Children’s Fair Festival and how we are trying to address them going forward;
“Like every other small charity the Bo’ness Fair is facing funding challenges and in an attempt to secure the future of The Fair for future generations, I asked a small sub-committee to look at ways that we could reduce our expenditure. In the past two years, the cost of putting on The Fair has risen considerably and we have to try and reduce the gap between our fundraising activities and the funds we pay out.
The sub-committee came up with a variety of ideas, some more radical than others but at the Fair AGM it was agreed that in the first instance, we stop The Kirking of the Queen event and also The Fair Dinner in the evening. Our main expenditure however is associated with staging at The Glebe and Douglas Parks, the security to look after these structures once built, and the cost of bands.
We are actively looking at plans to not have a built-up platform in Douglas Park but instead use a smaller stage, just above ground level that will allow the presentees and the afternoon entertainment a fit-for-purpose base to perform at a much-reduced cost. The positioning of this smaller stage will be crucial.
I fully understand that bands are a critical part of the procession and we shall keep any reductions in their numbers to a minimum. Last year we had 14 bands at a cost of just over £21,000, sadly this is not sustainable going forward unless we can attract band sponsorship.
As a committee we are working hard to raise funds and our fundraising team have come up with a variety of ideas that combine popular events such as prize bingo and Ladies’ Days events with new ventures including bespoke film evenings at The Hippodrome, an afternoon tea at The Town Hall, craft fairs and a Christmas Ceilidh. These new ideas have been well received and supported and bring a different demographic to events.
The Fair Lottery also goes from strength to strength and at present, we have just under 400 tickets being bought every week. If we could get these sales to 1000 tickets a week this would give us a solid base of £25,000 a year income. Last year our door-to-door collections in April raised a record £16,100, a wonderful amount of money which shows that the townsfolk are more than willing to help us with the cost of ‘The Best Day of the Year’. We are also very fortunate that local businesses including Bakavaar, Miller Homes, Tesco, and Allan Steel Asset Management have supported us in the past and we are extremely grateful for their support.
Rest assured we shall continue to work hard as a committee and we look forward to your continued support.”