Tram Sunday funding threat

Pictures:Bill Johnson.'"Tram Sunday" at Fleetwood.
Pictures:Bill Johnson.'"Tram Sunday" at Fleetwood.

‘You coined it in – so cough up and help us!’

That’s the message from organisers of Fleetwood’s Festival of Transport who say some traders have refused to cough up even small donations to stage next year’s big day - despite making a killing this year.

Financial director of the festival committee Derek
Eaton, who is also chairman of Fleetwood Chamber of Trade, says traders need to show more support if future Tram Sundays are to go ahead.

This year’s event was by far one of the best on record with an estimated 10,000 more visitors than in previous years.

That meant nearly 70,000 people poured into the town on July 20 and organisers say it was a huge economic boost.

Derek has visited traders since the event to gauge opinion and ask them for a donation or an advertisement in next year’s publicity brochure.

But he says some traders, particularly the ones which probably made the most from the day, simply refused to do their bit.

He said: “Shops were open all day and made a mountain of money, they made a killing!

“But some have not only blatantly refused to contribute, they were rude too.

“I’m asking for £50, it’s not a lot.”

It costs in the region of £5,000 to stage the event to pay for overheads such as insurances, road closures and signage.

The event has several main sponsors but relies on donations and the publicity brochure to secure the rest of the money.

“Redrow Homes made a welcome contribution and held a stall to promote their new homes in Fleetwood,” said Derek.

“There were absolutely delighted by their success, they have been inundated with inquiries which came directly from Tram Sunday.

“I just can’t understand why other traders won’t support us, I would really like to know why.”

Steve Lynton, proprietor of Granada Bar opened on the day and also opens every Sunday during the rest of the year.

He said: “What annoys certain fellow traders around the town is that some shops will not open on a Sunday, except on Tram Sunday and then they won’t donate anything.

“It’s short sighted of them because they are cashing in on the day yet they won’t support it. Organisers put thousands of hours in to get Tram Sunday off the ground, they should be able to rely on traders for a bit of financial help.”

Fleetwood Town Council chairman Alan Marsh agreed.

He said: “It’s a good day for everyone concerned and draws people into the town.

“Just a few pounds would show willing, they are not asking for thousands.

“We are trying to move Fleetwood forward but some people do nothing to support us.

“The Marine Hall was packed last weekend for the food festival, there was lots to do for the whole family - this is what we need, these events and facilities need supporting. “