Following a very positive meeting with the Leader of the Council, the Swindon Mela Project Team is pleased to announce that it will be running the Mela this year.
At present there are several event management issues to resolve and a firm date will be available within the next few days.
Council leader, Cllr. David Renard has offered a special dispensation to enable the Mela to go ahead this year at the Town Gardens with a limit of 10,000 people. This is subject to the Mela project team having all of the appropriate event plans in place.
As last year a Cabinet member decision will be required to authorise closure of the park for general access so numbers can be controlled and Cllr. Renard is happy to support this.
The project team and Council have also agreed to begin immediate discussions about the long term future of the Mela and to consider all possible options for staging the popular annual event.
Leader of the Council, Cllr. Renard said: “This is a great outcome for everyone. The Council has actively supported the Mela over the last ten years and I do not want to lose it from the Swindon calendar.
"It contributes so much to the local community, economy and Swindon as a whole. There are legitimate concerns about the suitability of Town Gardens for such a large event but the Mela project team have given me enough assurances to feel able to offer a special dispensation for this year.
"The project team’s commitment to the Mela is very impressive and I look forward to working with them to ensure this year’s Mela goes well and to secure the long term future of the event.”
Jaspal Bhui from the Mela project team said: “The Mela is a much loved and popular event and I am delighted that the Leader of the Council has enabled it to go ahead this year. Our dedicated team will do Swindon proud and put on another extraordinary day I am sure. I also welcome the Council’s willingness to work with us to explore options for next year and beyond so that we ensure the Mela is a permanent fixture on the Swindon event calendar.”
Old Town councillor Nadine Watts, welcomed the news that the Mela Festival is now likely to take place, after originally being announced it was cancelled for 2013. She said: “I think Old Town residents will be absolutely delighted that the Mela Festival is now back on, I know I am. It was such a shame when it was announced the event would be cancelled this year for health and safety reasons and a lot of people had contacted me expressing their disappointment.
"I know the people of Old Town have been very proud to host such a popular Swindon event and it has been great for local businesses in Old Town, so it is fantastic the event is now back on. I look forward to attending the event with my family, along with many other families in Swindon.”
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