It seems and indeed is a long time since an open meeting in the Village Hall on 11th April 1996 agreed to go ahead with a pageant based on David Ryall’s proposal which he had made on the invitation of the Sibfords Society. A lot of work has gone on since then and presentations were made of the ideas and outlines at two Village Hall gatherings held on 27th April 1997 and 8th March 1998.
An application was made for funding from “Arts for Everyone” in mid 1997 but this was unsuccessful. The Committee has however kept in touch with the Cherwell District Council throughout and we should hear the result of our application for a grant from then next month. It is also anticipated that they will support our application to “The Millennium Festival” which must be made by the end of this month, but for which we will not hear the result until December.
The Millenniun Festival is a £100 million programme set up jointly by the Millennium Commission and the National Lottery with the aim “to support local and regional millennium celebrations throughout the UK”.
It appears that we have a reasonable chance of receiving in all funding of about £30,000 from these two bodies, a sum which would cover our costs so that ticket sales would produce a surplus. Of this, we must produce 10% or £3,000 from our own resources. Thus the Committee has embarked on a series of functions to raise this sum of £3,000 and it is hoped that the village will support us with these.
The Millenniun Festival Programme has The Arts Council as a major patron so that our proposal must be associated with plans of an artistic nature. Any surplus made will need to be invested in a properly constituted Trust Fund for the “Lasting Benefit” of the local community. It is a rule that such benefit say not be used for capital projects.
If the funding does not materialise, the Pageant will need to be substantially scaled down and we are working on contingency plans for such an eventuality.
We are sure that when the Millennium comes, there will be a celebration worthy of the heritage of the villages and which all, young and old, will enjoy.