Coventry & Warwickshire

Charges introduced at Coventry's Godiva Festival

Crowds at the Godiva Festival 2011 Image copyright Coventry City Council
Image caption The city council said the Godiva Festival attracts about 120,000 people across its three days

Tickets are to be introduced for Coventry's Godiva Festival for the first time this year.

A £2 administration fee will be charged for each ticket, which Coventry City Council said will ensure organisers can safely manage visitor numbers.

A £10 on-site car parking charge will also be introduced at the festival, which attracts 120,000 people a year.

The car park charge would help reduce the cost to the taxpayer in delivering the event, the council said.

Under-fives will go free and the authority said the move will "ensure the safety" of everyone at the event, which runs from 5 to 7 July in War Memorial Park.

Andy Williams, director of business, investment and culture at the council, said: "The funding challenges we face means that the council is not in a position where we can continue to deliver the event as it has been for the last 20 years."

He said the authority has also been looking at additional sponsorship for the event.

The council spent £460,000 staging the show in 2018 - three times its original budget of £150,000.

It has set aside an extra £400,000 of funding for this year's event.

Conservative opposition leader, Councillor Gary Ridley, said it meant the city has "lost the accolade of hosting the UK's largest free music festival".

"Although a £2 charge doesn't sound that much once you've established the principle of charging it opens the door to much steeper rises in the future," he added.

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