Bike night charity events may be lost as fees go up
PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 January 2013
ORGANISERS of Weston’s charity bike nights, which have raised more than £55,000 for the Royal British Legion, say they may have to end after the cost of hiring the venue almost doubled in price.
They paid £420 to hire the Beach Lawns for the popular events, which can attract up to 1,000 bikers to the town.
But now Bike Night organiser Lynn Lovell has been handed a bill of £820 from North Somerset Council.
Lynn, aged 57, of Nutwell Square, Worle, said she also needs to pay for the use of toilets and rubbish bins for the events, which run on Thursdays from May to September, as well as a £1,000 traders’ licence fee.
Lynn said: “If the prices keep going up we may have to finish.
“I know it’s for 22 weeks, but it is a charity event.
“The nights may have to end, especially if we have a bad summer like last year.”
The charity nights were started five years ago by Lynn’s son-in-law, Adam Brown, to raise money for current and ex-servicemen of the British Armed Forces.
But due to family commitments Adam handed over the reins to Lynn.
The events feature biker get-togethers on Weston seafront, usually with individual themes and awards, and they often include live music at Scally’s pub in Carlton Street.
Lynn said she is now looking for more sponsors to help alleviate the increased costs.
She said: “I have been in contact with some people and am hoping to get some more sponsors on board. We are talking about maybe £3,000 plus in costs.
“Personally, I would be very disappointed if the nights had to end.
“Weston would be missing out because it does bring nearly 1,000 bikers in and most people are spending money in the town.
“We have raised a lot of money for the legion. It’s not the be all and end all event for the charity, but it does go a long way to help all the good work it does.”
A council spokesman said: “For the past couple of years we have given the organisers a very heavily discounted site to help them while some issues around the event were resolved.
“This cannot be continued forever and this year we said that there would be a rise in the site fee. The normal site fee payable for the hire of the lawns for an event such as theirs would be £150 - we have reduced that fee to £37.50 per week.
“What we are charging the organisers is by no means unreasonable.”
n Pictured: Bike Night supporters pictured at a promotional event at Puxton Park.
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