Festival donor is too late now say organisers
�A generous Ham&High reader has stepped in to try to save the Swiss Cottage festival – but organisers say it is now too late to hold it this year.
Two weeks ago the Swiss Cottage community centre, which organises the festival each year, appeared in the Ham&High to criticise the decision by Camden Council to grant just �500 of the �2,000 they had applied for – putting a stop to the plans for the festival which attracted crowds of 6,000 last year.
After reading of the popular festival’s plight Steven Scheerman, a chartered accountant, decided he wanted to help – and offered to cover the cost with money from The Scheermann Charitable Foundation which he runs from his Hampstead apartment.
Mr Scheerman had planned to give the money because he wanted to donate to a local cause that had been harmed by recent cuts to funding due to austerity measures at the council.
He said: “I’ve been looking to do something locally since Camden stopped giving money to various charitable things
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“I saw the plight of the Swiss Cottage festival in the Ham&High and thought, well they need �1,500 and that’s within my budget for that sort of gift so I thought I’d write in to offer to cover the costs.
“Its seems that it’s going to help a lot of people – what I am trying to do is maximise the benefit of the money that I give.”
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Erim Metto, director of the community centre, said they had decided after a big meeting last Thursday that they could not go ahead due to lack of time. He said: “We did really want to go for it this year but it is now so close to the event we couldn’t possibly get it together in time.
“We spoke to all the stall holders and the performers and at least half of them had already been booked up for other events.”