Macclesfield Barnaby Festival has been awarded almost £90kfrom Arts Council Englandalong with £30K from Cheshire East Council to support its ambitious plans when it returns in June 2016.

The Arts Council award will help fund three paid part-time posts, including Festival Director, a role undertaken until now on a volunteer basis.  The award also funds a unique, participatory festival event delivered by Macclesfield based Wild Rumpus – the team behind the ‘Just So Festival’, including a series of community-engagement projects with Macclesfield Community ArtSpace; a number of ‘space’ themed visual arts commissions, including an open commission for Macclesfield based artists; and an expanded, innovative music line-up.

The new strands will complement Barnaby’s existing festival programme, including the ever-popular Carnival Parade and Art Trail, which showcases local talent. Once again there’ll be a rich mix of live events, street shows, comedy, performance, film, workshops, walks and talks.

Ian Tabbron from Arts Council England commented: ‘Arts Council England is pleased to be able to support the Barnaby Festival which has grown quickly with diverse and distinctive programmes that have ensured high levels of engagement locally but have also attracted an increasing number of visitors to Macclesfield.  Our investment is intended to allow the organisers to consolidate and build on the many successes of the last five years.’

Cheshire East Council have also shown their continued support for Barnaby, with a significant increase in their financial contribution for the community festival by awarding £20k from the Residents First Fund, bringing their total funding for Barnaby2016 to £30k.

Lynne JonesBarnaby Festival Chair said ‘This is a fantastic achievement for Barnaby and shows how much confidence there now is in Macclesfield and in the capability of the volunteer team. We moved to holding a festival every other year to enable us to develop new ideas and partnerships – and it’s paid off. Macclesfield town centre will once again become a stage in 2016 for what’s set to be the best festival yet!’

Photo by Fiona Bailey