FLEETWOOD’s famous Tram Sunday transport festival has received a vital sponsorship boost.
A deal has been struck with one of the Fylde coast’s leading car dealerships, Chris Allen Garages Ltd.
The sponsor deal, for an undisclosed sum, is for 2011 alone and a number of smaller sponsors are being lined up as well.
It is a particular boost to the organisers of the summer festival because funding has been a major obstacle for it in the past.
Tram Sunday chairman Coun Mike Sanderson, who formed a new organising group for the festival two years ago when the town’s traders’ group took it on, says sponsorship is the most effective way to meet the event’s costs.
It needs £15,000 to stage the event this year – less than in previous years because some expenses have been trimmed.
Coun Sanderson, who is chairman of Fleetwood Chamber of Commerce and Trade, said: “Sponsorship deals like this are certainly the way ahead for us.
“This is a huge step forward for the event and I am delighted that Chris Allen has agreed to devote a large part of his marketing budget to Fleetwood’s own Tram Sunday this year.
“Most businesses are being extremely cautious with advertising revenue at the moment and this deal reflects the massive confidence Chris Allen Garages has in our organisation to bring back some desperately needed revenue to lift the local economy.”
The sponsorship comes several months after generous support, to the tune of £5,000, came from Fleetwood Town Council.
Coun Sanderson added: “It has been a terrible twelve months for our traders and they would really have struggled to put the money up if it wasn’t for the cash boost we have received.”
Chris Allen Garages has branches at Fleetwood, Poulton and Preesall.
Tram Sunday makes a triumphant return this year, on Sunday July 17, after a year’s absence due to the Tramway Upgrade works throughout Fleetwood town centre.
This year’s big event will include a Continental Market, huge funfair, heritage vehicles, live entertainment to suit all ages, park and ride sessions in a vintage vehicle and a road rally from the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland terminating in Fleetwood.
The Old Boy’s Band will head this year’s parade at the start of the festival.