Ilkley BID announced as Ilkley Carnival main sponsor

Ilkley Business Improvement District has been announced as the main sponsor for Ilkley Carnival 2024

Following the successful ballot for a second term of the BID, the volunteer-run BID board has reached out to support the volunteer-run Ilkley Carnival in recognition of the boost it gives to the town’s businesses and community.

Ilkley BID chair Ian White said the BID has sponsored Ilkley Carnival since 2022 because as the town’s biggest one-day event of the year, it brings in around 10,000 people every May Day bank holiday Monday.

“In terms of driving footfall into our town and into our stores, Ilkley Carnival has the biggest impact in one day, of any of our annual events,” said Ian.

“But the carnival stands for so much more than simply footfall and we know many of our members support through sponsorship because they want to give back to an event does such good for our community. As the voice of local business, we are delighted to be this year’s main sponsor to help maximise the success of the event and help drive awareness of our local businesses.”

Ilkley’s Mardi Gras-themed event expects to draw around 1,000 school children, local organisations and groups into the most vibrant town centre parade yet. However, increased costs and pending new legislation are impacting on the carnival’s running costs and potentially, on the future of the event.

Ilkley Carnival chair Andrew Stacey explained: “We are really thankful to Ilkley BID for becoming our main sponsor – all support is welcome and businesses have been the backbone of our sponsorship for over a decade.

“The cost of living is impacting everyone and community events such as ours do not escape the sky rocketing costs – this year’s insurance alone has increased by 56%. In addition, our committee of volunteers is immersed in navigating the pending new anti-terrorism legislation, Martyn’s Law, introduced following the tragic loss of life at the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 and means we need to further increase our security measures.

“This double whammy of costs means we have no choice but to increase our on-day adult ticket prices by £2, or by £1 if bought in advance. This will help with deploying increased security at the showground in the form of full perimeter fencing and scaffolding observation towers. We’re asking visitors to please be patient with us as we work our way through these changes in a bid to make sure we can continue in the coming years and that this year, we provide another fantastic family day for everyone.”

Andrew adds: “Our heartfelt thanks go out to the BID and its levy payers for giving us much-needed additional resource in a year of such change and challenge. It reflects the continued community spirit of Ilkley that has ensured we’ve bounced back from Covid and created some of our best carnivals ever. We’ve every intention to continue that track record again for 2024!”

The theme of Ilkley Carnival 2024 is “Mardi Gras” and the town will be transformed into a sea of colour, music, street performers and a fabulous feel-good atmosphere when the parade kicks off at 11am on 6 May at Memorial Gardens on The Grove. This year’s showground will be home to motorbike stunt team Defying Gravity, a fun dog show, trade and charity stalls and a host of free children’s activities.

This year’s primary beneficiary is AWARE (Airedale and Wharfedale Autism Resource) and funds donated by the Carnival will help fund a confidence-building residential trip for young people with autism.  Other key sponsors include Bradford Grammar School and SD Property Group.

For sponsorship details contact Colin Watson on 07885 200640. To join the carnival’s team of volunteers, contact Andrew Stacey on 07951 890836. Tickets cost £8 for adults on the day or £6 in advance. Children and OAPs are £2.

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