Coventry City Council has been awarded £750,000 of Commonwealth Games legacy funding to support two festivals taking place in the city this year.
Coventry’s annual Godiva Festival has been awarded £500,000 from the Major Event Fund, whilst a proposal submitted for a new Caribbean festival, known as Caribbean Reggae Fever, has been awarded £250,000.
Godiva Festival is set to take place from Friday 5 July – Sunday 7 July in Coventry’s War Memorial Park with the lineup set to be announced in the coming weeks ahead of tickets going on sale.
Caribbean Reggae Fever will be held in the War Memorial Park on 20 July.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the UK Government is supporting the organisers with money from the £70 million Games underspend which is being reinvested back into the region.
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Events, said: “We are thrilled to be receiving £750,000 in legacy funding for major events in Coventry.
“Godiva Festival is the highlight of our city’s event calendar. This year, we are celebrating the 25th Godiva Festival and with this funding we hope we can make it bigger and better than ever.
“The additional funding will allow us to expand the capacity to increase the space in the park so we can attract a greater audience across the weekend. We will also use the funding to develop the sustainability of the event and look at bespoke volunteering opportunities at the festival.
“Caribbean Reggae Fever is another music and cultural event taking place in the War Memorial Park this summer which will see a celebration of Caribbean culture through music, crafts, costume, sport, food and entertainment.
“Across both festivals, there will be opportunities for local creative companies to get involved and to showcase our fantastic local, young talent. We’ll be building on a theme of a worldwide welcome and we are already looking forward to seeing so many residents and visitors at both festivals.”
In total, nine cultural and sporting events are set to take place in the West Midlands which have shared £3 million of Commonwealth Games legacy funding to help bring hundreds of thousands of people together in the region.
Giving an estimated £11.5 million boost to the local economy, almost 700,000 competitors, performers and spectators are expected to attend the West Midlands events in 2024 and 2025 to celebrate the region’s rich and diverse sporting, music and cultural heritage.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “It was always our intention that the Commonwealth Games should leave a lasting legacy far beyond the sporting spectacle - as wonderful as that was.
“With this £3million of Games legacy funding, we’re turning words into action. This money will help us to host the Kabaddi World Cup and will support the organisers of well-established local events such as the Godiva Festival in Coventry, Birmingham Weekender and the Black Country Festival - alongside some new events.
“Collectively, this backing will bring in hundreds of thousands of people to our region, give a welcome boost to local businesses and provide valuable jobs and volunteering opportunities for local people. I look forward to seeing the difference this support makes on the ground and celebrating all that is great about the West Midlands in the months and years ahead.”
Businesses and community groups can find out more about how to benefit from the WMCA’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund.
Stay up-to-date with the latest announcements and find out more about Godiva Festival on the Godiva Festival website.