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Leigh Fishing Festival cancelled in 2013
12:00pm Friday 18th January 2013 in Southend
A fishing festival, which is one of a town’s major yearly events, has been axed this year ahead of a relaunch in 2014 - but businesses claim they have been left in the dark.
The Leigh Fishing Festival, which attracts thousands, has been postponed this year with the town council set to rebrand it next year as a Maritime Festival in 2014.
The council is being tight lipped lipped on what the new festival will include, and businesses in the Old Town admit they were not aware of the news.
Richard Eves of the Fishing Co-operative said: “It’s always a really popular traditional event. It would have been nice to know about this before the Echo told me.”
Sarah Mathis, duty manager of the Crooked Billet, in High Street, said: “The Fishing Festival may be the smallest of the three events including the Regatta and Folk Festival but it is still well known and typifies the fact that this is an old established fishing community.
“It is just Old Leigh losing another bit of its heritage and tradition which I think is a great shame.”
Leigh Town Council, which organises the festival, claims that the event was due a review.
It was designed to raise the profile of the fishing and cockling industries in Leigh.
Councillor Carole Mulhoney, chairman of the town council, said: “Whilst some people will be disappointed we have had some feedback that it needed a refresh and rethink as it has not been reviewed in any appreciable way since it started 10 years ago.
“We intend to come back with a broader Maritime Festival in 2014 encompassing more than just fishing elements.
“We have received enquiries from other interest groups who may want to get involved and I will be putting together a steering group in the near future.”
The Regatta and the Folk Festival remain unchanged.
Ms Mulhoney added: “We have put money in the 2013/14 budget which will roll forward into 2014/15, so we are being prudent in saving money towards a new revamped and improved festival.”