Bid to garner support for Forfar gala week

A BID to garner more support for a popular summer event will be made at a meeting to be staged at the end of this month.

The way ahead for the Forfar Gala Week had been on the agenda for a meeting to be held on November 30 only for the adverse weather conditions to intervene.

The meeting – called by Forfar Area Partnership – has been rescheduled for Monday, January 31, at 6.30 pm in the East & Old Parish Church hall, Forfar.

Readers may recall that it was back in 2008 that the Forfar Area Partnership re-established the gala day in town.

Over the last three years partnership members have built up programme of events to form a successful event taking place on the last Sunday of June.

“Indeed the programme of events has been extended to form a Gala Week which culminates in the gala day proper,” explains Jeanette Gaul, the Forfar Area Partnership chairperson.

While it is almost inevitable that the gala day will clash with other such open events in the area, the date has proved relatively free from major competition so far.

“It is fair to say that the Forfar Gala Week is now established as a large event in the local and tourism programme not just for Forfar but for Angus.”

The chairperson goes on to explain that the staging of the gala week events in 2010 required in round terms a budget of £6,500 and last year this was funded by an Angus Council grant of £3100, sponsorship of £1800, and income generated during the week of £1600.

“Looking forward, and bearing in mind the present economic climate, 2011 clearly will pose an even larger financial challenge on the funding front but we are pleased to confirm our main sponsor has once again confirmed his support.

“It was never intended nor is it practical that the Forfar Area Partnership control the growth of the event and, from the outset groups have been encouraged to take ownership of various activities and their own fund-raisers, linking these in to a programme of events under the gala week banner.

“This is in the true spirit of the Area Partnership whereby we seek to improve by working together.

“It is felt that, as a small committee, we are attempting to punch some way above our weight and are concerned due to man hour and knock on income generation constraints we will not be able to allow the event to grow naturally, which would be frustrating for all concerned especially after the good progress achieved over the last three years.

“There is also a possibility that the event may not be able to continue certainly in its present shape and scope.

“There have been a large number of supporters involved over the years, between sponsors, stall-holders, helpers, artistes, local organisations and individuals, and we are advised that everyone is keen to see the event develop, so we are looking to facilitate debate on how this may best be achieved.

“Towards this end we have arranged the forthcoming open meeting and would be delighted to see a large turnout of interested parties to discuss how best to take this important local event forward.”

The meeting on January 31 will be followed by a full meeting of the Area Partnership and anyone attending the first is more than welcome to stay and take part in the second, thus learning more about all the activities of the Area Partnership.