A festival has lost out on funding despite attracting thousands of people last year.

The first Bury Mela event was hailed a huge success when it was held last summer in Openshaw Park last year.

Organisers of the South Asian Community Festival have said it would be a “shame” to have to postpone such a “diverse cultural event” and are appealing to businesses for their help.

Founder of The B.A.M.E Project, Cllr Ummrana Farooq, said the aim of the non-profit project is to “integrate the diverse community of Bury”, something she believes the festival can achieve.

Bury Times: Bury Mela 2022 Bury Mela 2022 (Image: Danny Crompton)

She said: “Following last year's pilot South Asian Community festival we were hoping that we would be successful in receiving the funding application, however, we were not.

“It would be a shame to postpone such a diverse cultural event which was so well attended.”

"I can't remember in my time a bigger event in Openshaw Park" - Bury Mela 2022

Bury Times: Cllr Ummrana Farooq at Bury Mela 2022Cllr Ummrana Farooq at Bury Mela 2022 (Image: Danny Crompton)

The first festival featured music, Bollywood dancers, food and stalls.

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Cllr Farooq said: “We experienced a footfall of over 3000 attendees which brought out all generations of the community from across the borough and Greater Manchester.”

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The group applied for funding under the Arts Council National Lottery Project grants.

After the rejection of the proposal, people and local businesses who are willing to contribute are being asked for help to make the event happen.

When asked about the festival application for funding, a spokesperson from Arts Council England said: “Our National Lottery Project Grants programme has a high level of competition for funds which unfortunately means we are unable to support all of the good applications we receive.

"We are always happy to support applicants in providing feedback and helping them to develop future applications.

"Over the last three years we have invested a total of nearly £2 million in organisations and projects in Bury, including over £500,000 through our National Lottery Project Grants scheme in a broad and diverse range of cultural and creative activities.”

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