Funding for fashion award move turned down

Daphne Randle's prizewinning garments are modelled in the collections category of the 2015 WoolOn...
WoolOn will need to keep searching for funding for the event’s controversial move from Alexandra to Cromwell.

The Cromwell Community Board voted on Wednesday to decline any funding to the organisers of the WoolOn Fashion Awards.

In her report to the board Central Otago District Council media and marketing manager Alison Mason said there was a level of community concern about the committee’s plans to move the event from Alexandra to Cromwell.

The WoolOn committee was asking for $34,121.50, and the report’s recommendation was the board grant $10,000 towards the event.

However, after extended discussions the board decided to not fund any money towards the event, planned to take place at Highlands Motorsport Park next August.

Board member Robin Dicey said he was concerned about having the event moved to Cromwell, describing it as like moving the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards from Gore, or the Alexandra Blossom Festival moving from Alexandra.

Board member Tony Buchanan said it was "a shame" not to fund the event, but said he did not think it fitted with the remit of the board to focus on Cromwell.

He thought it highlighted a shortcoming that there was not a district-wide fund that could support events that were more about Central Otago than being about a specific town.

Chief adviser Saskia Righarts said the only source of funding at a district level that might be suitable was from general reserves, which already had "quite a lot of pressure" on funding, but more work would need to be done to decide if this type of funding was appropriate.

WoolOn chairwoman Victoria Ravenscroft said it was was too early to say what the next steps were but they were surprised at the decision to not provide funds.

"We were disappointed, we thought we would have had more support from the Central Otago community that what we have had to date."


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