ILKLEY Summer Festival has gained a much-needed £8,000 grant from Bradford Council to help it stage this year's event.

The Council has awarded the funding from its Bradford Visitor Fund for the festival, which takes place through August.

Festival managing director, Anne Hawkesworth says she was delighted to get the news the Festival’s application to Bradford Council had been successful.

She said: "Clearly it is not an enormous amount of money in the context of the Festival running at the level of a small business. What it does do is give the Directors, who are all volunteers, of the not-for-profit company limited by guarantee that runs the Festival, some comfort against the risk involved.”

But Mrs Hawkesworth says the Festival needs the support of the public with ticket purchases for the many events which the Festival organises. She says festivals can rarely become self-funding, making public money and sponsorship essential.

She added: “The object of this money is not to give Ilkley residents a beano, but to attract visitors to Ilkley. So, some of it will be spent on promotion in neighbouring authorities.

“With my councillor hat on I have voiced concerns recently about the lack of funding for the town centre’s infrastructure, cleansing and floral displays.

"Without spending to keep the Town clean and pleasant it will be that much harder to attract visitors, which after all is the object of the grant.”