Rotary Club funds Pendle Schools' Festival at the Muni Theatre

Wednesday, 31st October 2018

Next year’s annual Pendle Schools’ Festival will now be able to go ahead thanks to a generous donation from The Rotary Club of Burnley Pendleside.

The yearly event, which showcases the talents of local schoolchildren, was in threat of having to finish after almost 60 years because of lack of funding.

The Festival first started in 1960 as a way for local children to experience visiting and performing in a real theatre.

Every school in Pendle is given the opportunity to take part in this non-competitive event which takes place at the Muni Theatre in Colne for a week every June, with children performing dance, drama, singing and music. There is also an exhibition of their art and craft talents.

Chairman of Pendle Schools’ Festival, Wendy Harvey, said: “Next year’s event was under threat because we did not have enough money to stage it.

In the past we have had a grant from Pendle Council, but because of the savings they have had to make, we no longer get it and the schools find it difficult to find the funds to contribute themselves.

Our main expense is the transport, getting the children to various venues and to the Muni Theatre for rehearsals.

But this very generous donation from the Rotary Club has made a big difference and means the festival can go ahead. It will help towards the cost of staging the event and it’s tremendous they have come forward to support us in this way.

Unfortunately, we will still need some more money to ensure all the schools that want to, can take part, as well as pay for extras such as staging, costumes and props.

This festival is a massive experience for the children. It gives them the thrill and buzz of performing on a proper stage in a real theatre. Most schools just have a school hall to use for their performances, this festival gives them the opportunity to use sound effects, lighting and the whole experience of performing in front of a large, live audience.

The whole idea of the festival is for the children to show off their talents and share what they can do with other schoolchildren, as well as their friends and relatives.

Some of these children have never been to a theatre, let alone perform on a stage in front of a live audience. This festival allows them to do this – and share their talents with their friends, parents and grandparents – in the beautiful Muni Theatre.

We get fantastic support from Pendle Leisure Trust with the hire of the theatre and this money from the Rotary Club will go towards paying for the transport – and enabling the festival to go ahead for another year.”

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