For the past eight years, the Four Heatons Traders Association (4HTA) and its members have put on the annual Heatons summer and Christmas festivals. We have nurtured and developed these events until they blossomed into the much-loved fixtures in The Heatons calendar they now are. But we have become a victim of our own success. For those 4HTA members who volunteer to run these events, the burden has become more and more onerous as the festivals have become bigger and more complex. In addition, the time devoted to the planning and organisation of the festivals (the summer one attracts upwards of 9000 visitors!) has increasingly diverted time and energies away from other, equally valuable parts of the 4HTA’s core mission – To make The Heatons a better place to live, work and prosper. In short, we needed to look at how best we can take the festivals forward, continuing to build upon their success whilst at the same time, spreading the workload.
During the last few months, the 4HTA has consulted its own members, other local traders’ associations and events management companies, in an effort to find a way to continue with the festivals without continuing to burden the small number of 4HTA volunteers any further. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this important debate for their input.
The outcome is that we have decided that 2017 will be a ‘fallow year’ (to use Glastonbury’s phrase!) – so there will be no 4HTA summer or Christmas festivals this year. This will give Heaton Moor Park a little time to recover, but it will also give us time to set up a new, stand-alone community interest (or similar) company, which will, we believe, be the best vehicle to take the festivals forward to bigger and better things in 2018.
We hope that this new Heatons Festival Company will be able to draw its steering group/board and volunteers not just from the members of the 4HTA as in previous years, but from the great pool of talent that is our local Four Heatons community too. In the coming months, we will be actively seeking those willing to give their time, expertise and energy to make the relaunched festivals even better in 2018, and to help raise even more money for local good causes. Having said all that, these festivals wouldn’t have succeeded if you hadn’t come along to enjoy them, so we thank you for all the support you have shown since we hosted the first 4HTA summer festival back in 2010.
If you would like to be part of the team that will re-launch The Heatons festivals, bigger and better in 2018, please get in touch and register your interest with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org