Camden Green Fair axed
Katie Davies CAMDEN S flagship Green Fair – nationally acclaimed for promoting eco-friendly initiatives and attracting thousands of visitors every year – has become the latest victim of the recession. The fair in Regent s Park, exploring sustainability an
CAMDEN'S flagship Green Fair - nationally acclaimed for promoting eco-friendly initiatives and attracting thousands of visitors every year - has become the latest victim of the recession.
The fair in Regent's Park, exploring sustainability and led by Camden Council's eco-champion Cllr Alexis Rowell, has been axed after a sudden drop in corporate funding.
Sponsors couldn't be found to provide the �50,000 needed to support the fair - held in the borough for the last 18 years.
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Cllr Rowell, a trustee of the Camden Green Fair, now a registered charity, said: "It has been cancelled because of a lack of commercial sponsorship.
"The fair is now a charity with trustees who have a responsibility for it and the trustees were very nervous about taking on the risk of it going ahead without enough sponsorship.
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"The amount that the council gives to fund the fair wasn't going to be enough to clear the shortfall.
"We needed about �50,000 and it was too late in the day to get that from the council. You can't just find that in the council's budget at a minute's notice.
"I am very sorry the recession has affected Camden Green Fair as much as anyone else - but I am confident it will be back better than ever in 2010.
"There is no question of it disappearing off the face of the earth."
The fair had been due to take place on June 7 although part of it - a bike festival - will go ahead in the park.
The charity says it will be focusing on making sure next year's 20th anniversary takes place.
But Labour spokesman and Regent's Park representative Cllr Theo Blackwell said: "The council took the fair so much towards the corporate sector they were reliant on companies.
"In the past couple of years, since the Lib Dem/Conservative administration took over the council, the fair has felt like a trade show so they were always running the risk of this.
"It used to be a small community event run by volunteers.
"Now I question whether or not it will happen next year and that's a great shame. Environmentalism is even more important for people during a recession and could really help residents."
Between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors attended last year's fair. Activities included an ethical fashion show and a solar cinema.
It is held to coincide with World Environment Day and had grown to become one of Britain's largest free green events.