Handmade Hebden faces a cash crisis

Handmade Parade, Hebden Bridge
Handmade Parade, Hebden Bridge
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HEBDEN Bridge’s Handmade Parade is under threat after organisers announced a shortfall of £20,000 in funding.

Plans to turn the organisation into a self-sustaining, year-round social enterprise are also now under threat.

The annual event brings the town to life, with people of all ages getting creative in a month-long session of workshops, master classes and outreach sessions.

Organisers have unsuccessfully applied to more than 10 groups asking for funding.

Hebden Royd Town Council, the Co-op Bank Community Bank, Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank and Concertina Trust have helped and decisions are still being awaited from Calderdale Council and the Arts Council.

Last year more than 900 people took part in getting the parade ready for its big outing and the town was packed with 5,000 spectators.

Organiser Rebecca Dearden said: “If we were to lose the parade, we wouldn’t just be losing one fantastic day. The event makes such a difference to so many people. More than 900 people of all ages took part last year and around 5,000 came out to watch the spectacular parade and countless people saw it in the media, both regionally and nationally.”

The group is run by seven volunteers. Their reputation had spread, meaning they had helped the new Hepworth Gallery celebrate its launch and worked with organisations such as the Waterways Trust and Skipton Puppet Festival.

“The sad thing is that we were just about to make the most of a great new opportunity for us. Given a year or so we could have built up more of this type of paid work which would have made us less dependant on grants. We’re doing our best to find new sources of income, because we know what a loss it would be to the area,” said Rebecca.

To help make a donation or suggest fund-raising ideas, contact Rebecca on info@handmadeparade.co.uk.