August 29, 2002

Essex Festival Cricket to Change

Essex County Cricket Club has decided to reduce the number of festivals it stages from 3 to 2. The decision was taken by the Club Executive Committee at a meeting held last night. Colchester will retain its festival, and a decision on whether Southend or Ilford will be staged in 2003 will need to be taken after further discussion with the Councils and Clubs in those areas.

Chief Executive David East explained the background to the decision.

"Our festival cricket has been struggling financially for some time, and although we have received cash support from both Redbridge and Southend Councils, we continue to lose money at each event. Colchester did not support the festival financially this year but has pledged to do so in 2003."

East continued "The festival week at Colchester has been confirmed in 2003 at this early stage for two reasons. Firstly the guarantee of cash support will underpin the costs for next season, but more importantly, Colchester Council has confirmed its interest in staging the festival itself from 2004, which will remove the financial uncertainty from the County Club."

"This decision in no way reflects on the very welcome support that both Redbridge and Southend Councils have provided in the past, however the Club must ensure its future financial security. We will be holding meetings with all interested parties in the near future to determine a way forward, although a development of the Colchester model will be our preferred option"