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Future of Notting Hill Carnival in doubt

THE FUTURE of Notting Hill Carnival is in doubt after two of its co-directors quit saying that the event, now in its 46th year, lacked the necessary investment to continue.

Ancil Barclay, one of the co-directors who handed in his notice last week, said that festival, which attracts over a million people each year, was historically under funded and did not receive the same support as similar events in London.

He told The Guardian: “It is still seen as just a Caribbean event and just not taken seriously,"
"Carnival has to grow up. Everyone loves carnival, but when it comes to putting the right structures in place there is a total lack of investment."

"Each year we have a spectacular display but behind the scenes it is dysfunctional to the core. It should be creating employment, it should be educational – it could be so much more with the proper investment,” he said.

"Carnival is not just a free-for-all party," added his fellow co-director, Chris Boothman

"Its roots lie in celebrating the emancipation of slavery and it has high artistic values, but it is a struggle to uphold those values when it is so underfunded.

“Without full-time staff with experience of lobbying, the carnival would not get the recognition it deserved.”

The pair, who were instrumental in ensuring a relatively trouble-free event went ahead in August following the riots a few weeks earlier, announced their resignation to Kensington and Chelsea council last week.

Asked how he thought the 2012 event would fear, Barclay replied:

"Beyond 2012 it is questionable because it is so under funded."

"Most people don't realise this whole thing has been run by two unpaid volunteers. It should be a wake-up call: if you value the Notting Hill carnival, then invest in it."

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