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Stone Cross St George's Day parade cancelled over 'spiralling' costs

By Jamie Brassington | West Bromwich | News | Published:

The parade in West Bromwich attracts more than 10,000 people each year.

The Stone Cross St George's Day Parade is the biggest in the country

England's biggest St George's Day parade has been cancelled due to rising costs, organisers have revealed.

Organisers of the Stone Cross St George's Day Parade event in West Bromwich said the decision has been taken with "a heavy heart and much sadness".

Hundreds turn out for the parade each year and 2019 would have been the 22nd annual event.

The Stone Cross St George's Day parade, taken in 2016

The parade, which begins on Westminster Road in Stone Cross and goes through West Bromwich before finishing at Dartmouth Park, usually takes place on the weekend closest to St George's Day - April 23.

Organisers say they have had to cancel the parade due to rising costs.

Meeting

However a meeting has been scheduled with Sandwell Council for Thursday and funding could be given to get the event back on.

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A statement on the Stone Cross St George Facebook page said: "Due to increasing and additional costs from the council and other companies we have to use due to council legislation, the costs which have now spiralled out of control.

"These now include being charged for the use of Dartmouth Park, insurance, toilets, first aid, security and clearing up. This is before we could put on any entertainment.

"It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that the event will not go ahead this year."

In the past, parade organisers have had marching bands, VIP guests and Spitfires from the Second World War.

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Funding available

A Sandwell Council spokesman said: “The council supports community events and we are working with the organisers to try to ensure this St George’s Day parade goes ahead.

“We are meeting with the organisers this week. Council funding is available if it would help make sure the event happens.

“The council does not charge the organisers for road closures or anything in relation to the Stone Cross St George’s parade.

“Costs associated with booking the park to host an event – which apply to any event in our parks – could be covered by a council grant.”

In 2017, organisers were charged £100 for using the park as they stated they were expecting up to 500 people, the spokesman said.

In 2018, organisers stated they were expecting up to 2,000 people so were charged £203.

The costs associated with booking a park event could be covered by a council grant, as potentially could other costs.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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