Council U-turn over gala day funds process

Mayfield and Easthouses Gala will be one of the local festivals to benefit from the new funding policy

Mayfield and Easthouses Gala will be one of the local festivals to benefit from the new funding policy

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Midlothian Council has reconsidered the way it supports gala days financially to recognise the unique role they play in our communities.

Councillors have agreed that the events will continue to be supported in kind by the council.

Resources director John Blair said gala committees had raised concerns about the “burdensome and bureaucratic” grant application.

Now galas will go through a simplified application process to access cash from a separate funding stream from local third sector organisations.

Earlier it was agreed that the 15 active gala events should receive two thirds of the 2014/15 funding level.

In 2015/16, galas received in grants and in-kind support such as marquees, traffic management and cleaning services, totalling £58,425. Of that £9,910 was a grant.

In 2016/17, galas will get grants totalling £9,665 with continued in kind support from the council.

Commercial operations spokesman Councillor Derek Rosie (SNP) said: “We recognise the fantastic and unique historic role gala days play in the community life of Midlothian. We continue to support gala days within the limited resources available.”