‘Heartless’ Camden allows axe to fall on popular Swiss Cottage festival

�The Swiss Cottage Community Centre’s popular annual festival has been cancelled due to a lack of funding.

Organisers applied for �2,000 from Camden Council with the aim of raising the rest of the �4,000 needed for the Swiss Cottage Festival.

But centre chairman Charlie Hedges said: “They’ve offered us �500 – but the insurance policy to cover the event costs �1,000 alone.

“We turned it down because the money was just nowhere near enough.”

Last year’s festival drew around 6,000 people.

Monika Caro, of the Camden Association of Street Properties, described the council’s decision as outrageous.

She is now campaigning to force Camden to change its mind.

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She said: “I find this totally cruel and heartless. We’re not asking for millions.

“It’s a day so that children and elderly people can enjoy themselves on the green.

“The staff who work there are so friendly and kind and this is just terrible for them.”

Cllr Maya de Souza has also joined in calls to raise funds for the festival.

“It would be a real shame to lose this very successful festival because of �4,000.

“Even in this financial climate, that is not a large amount of money for the council.”

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: “We did offer to provide a grant of �500, which is in line with council grants awarded to festivals of a similar size.

“The council has funded the Swiss Cottage community festival for most of 2000 to 2011 and also supported the festival to secure �10,000 from the Awards For All lottery grant in 2009.”

Despite the calls from the community, the festival is very unlikely to go ahead this year.

The community centre has also been told that it will have to fund the festival by itself next year.