THIS year’s Cowley Road Carnival might still be a recent memory but organisers are already preparing for next year’s event.

Tens of thousands descended on East Oxford in July for the annual celebration of the city’s diverse culture.

While many volunteers contribute to its success, it is estimated that about £100,000 is needed to put the carnival on.

This weekend the first in a year-long programme of fundraising events is set to begin.

Supporters will take part in a sponsored cycle from Jackdaw Lane to destinations including Chipping Norton over 20, 50 or 80 miles. Carnival organisers are encouraging keen cyclists to sign up to the Bike Oxford event on Sunday to support the carnival.

Paul Wolf, a trustee of Carnival organiser Cowley Road Works, said: “We will be encouraging our supporters, their staff and the 45,000 members of the community that attended the carnival to get in the saddle to draw in much-needed sponsorship for the carnival.”

Carnival spokesman Sarah Airey added: “Thoughout the course of the year we want to try to get the message out to people who come and enjoy the carnival to participate in making sure the finances stack up.

The Oxford Times:

  • Last year's event

“There are lots of volunteers who help but nonetheless there are costs that are involved in making sure it can happen, such as paying for the clean-up and for the road closure. There will be a full programme of fundraising activities over the next year and the intention will be to have something happening every month to keep the ball rolling.

“As much as anything, holding these events can be good for the community.”

The carnival, launched in 2001, returned to Cowley Road last year after a two-year absence. Last year the city council agreed to provide three years of annual funding at £30,000. In recent years the event has also been sponsored by BMW Mini, at Cowley.


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