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View From 'The Voice': Carnival's economic success

IT'S A LONDON THING: Revellers enjoying the final day of Carnival on Bank Holiday Monday

AS THE dust has settled on another fantastic Notting Hill Carnival Bank Holiday weekend and the costumes are dismantled and put away for another year, what now follows is the usual discussion in the mainstream media about crime statistics and why the carnival needs to find a new home away from the suburbia of leafy London W10.

What you don’t hear much about is how much money the two-day Caribbean-themed street party has raised for the London economy and how it has boosted businesses, from the hotels which had to cater to the uplift in room bookings due to the visitors from around the world, to the small food stall holders which served up those delicious Caribbean fare.

As we reported this week, an estimated £93 million flowed through London this August Bank Holiday and many anticipate this figure could be higher.

Many stall holders we spoke to on Sunday and Monday indicated that the carnival is the highlight of their financial year which translates into more jobs for Londoners as well as more spending which boosts the city’s economy.

Against this background, it is difficult to see why others would want to see the back of the carnival if it is bringing in so much revenue for the economy. Rather than complain about the crime statistics and the drug arrests each year, which pale in comparison to other big mainstream events, the naysayers should be thinking how we can galvanise the benefits of Europe’s biggest street party and make it even better for London’s economy.

Some of the money generated from the weekend should be ploughed back into supporting the many designers who don’t get any funding to help them create those colourful costumes and without them there would be no cultural explosion to make Carnival unique. And the organisers of the carnival must also be considered for funding too as they have to rely on volunteer efforts to ensure the carnival happens every year.

What is without doubt is that each August Bank Holiday London’s economy gets a financial boost thanks to the Notting Hill Carnival and this treasured two-day event should be embraced rather than be put down by a few who just don’t know how to enjoy a good street party on a hot late summer weekend.

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