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Heart of the Forest Festival

The Heart of the Forest Festival – Saturday 23rd June 2012

The Heart of the Forest Festival, voted ‘Best Community Event 2010’ for Leicestershire & Rutland, is an annual event for all communities that lie within the heart of the National Forest. It has grown tremendously from its creation, and has now firmly placed itself in the community calendar for North-West Leicestershire.

The event includes many months of preparation which results in a spectacular street Parade and an afternoon of activities and entertainment on the Leisure Centre Grounds in Measham. It brings together everyone for a day of celebration and entertainment. It is inclusive to all, and FREE entrance ensures that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the day. We work with many schools and activity groups in the local area, helping children to develop their creative talents by setting them tasks for their participation in the annual Festival Parade. Approx. 1000 children took part in last years Parade, and we are seeking to grow that figure year on year.

The Festival aligns perfectly with Leicestershire’s Sustainable Community Strategy, meeting many of the objectives detailed in the key priorities.

The volunteer organising committee are seeking funding from the Community Forum Budgets to help them meet the cost element of ensuring further school/activity group participation in June 2012.

The first running of the Heart of the Forest Festival in 2007 was a direct result of the Measham Parish Plan. 89% of parishioners identified in the plan that they would like to see an improvement in community spirit. A sub-committee was created and the Festival was born.

Over 4000 people participated in that first event, with numbers now exceeding 8000 over the last few years. The committee receives many bouquets for its work, both from people who participate or visit, but also from many groups and bodies, including County, District and Parish Councils, and of course the emergency services.

The Heart of the Forest Festival has now firmly established itself in the community calendar of North-West Leicestershire, but besides just being an annual event, it has also generated a new branding for this part of the county. For many years the area was referred to as an ex-coal mining community, but with the help of the National Forest, we are establishing a new positive brand for this area as a thriving community that lies in our new environment, at the heart of the National Forest.

All people that participate in or visit the Festival – approx. 8000
• Developing creative arts with the young
• Full inclusion and no cost barriers
• Cohesion of diverse communities e.g. Polish
• Driving Community Spirit
• Building safer communities

All of the above have been regularly achieved and witnessed. The Committee have been recognised on several occasions by County Council, District Council, the Rural Community Council, and Leicestershire Police.

Continue and develop the Festival for many more years to come.

Entertainment/Acts £6,500
Logistics/Safety/Security £2,411
Schools/Activity Groups £1,150
Advertising/Insurance £3,260



AB Produce £3,000
Measham Parish £1,500
KNR Recruitment £1,500

Sale of Stall Pitches £3,880
Funfair rental £ 450
Programme Sales £ 295
Dog Show £ 100

Team of 12 members on organising committee
Team of 40 volunteers on the day
Local Business Donations in-kind

Comments (3)

1. Bob Bissell said on Tue, 15 Nov 2011 15:44:

Truly a wonderful project that brings the greater community together for a day of celebration. A superb example of how to create a sustainable project by different sectors (Voluntary/Public/Private) working together in perfect partnership.

2. Daniel said on Tue, 22 Nov 2011 15:47:

The Heart of the Forest Festival is a fantastic organised event that caters for all age groups. It is a day that brings the majority of the village and other local communities together. It is a great day that my family and friends look forward to each year. Well done to the organisers.

3. Sharon said on Wed, 23 Nov 2011 20:31:

An amazing but simple idea that's grown and grown. The Heart of the Forest Festival brings together all of the communities in the heart of the National Forest for one fantastic day of celebration.
"Well done you guys, you'll definitely be getting my vote'

What projects are eligible?

Community Forum Budget funding can be used to support a wide range of new and existing projects and activities – the key test is that supported projects and activities will need to show that they are appropriate, feasible and sustainable.

To be appropriate, projects and activities should:

  • Provide value for money.
  • Be led by an eligible group or organisation (see below).
  • Link to one or more of the six priorities of the Leicestershire Sustainable Community Strategy. These priorities are:
  1. Supporting individuals and families
  2. Delivering effective services
  3. Protecting our environment
  4. Improving our communities
  5. Enhancing children’s lives
  6. Developing our economy

To be feasible projects and activities should:

  • Be able to spend the funding applied for between January 2012 and 30 June 2012.
  • Fulfill all legal requirements and have obtained the consents necessary to deliver the project or activity. These requirements and consents may include planning permission, consent from landowner(s), statutory undertakers and the Highway Authority and regulations relating to health and safety, protection of vulnerable people, wildlife etc.

To be sustainable, projects and activities should:

  • Provide some lasting or longer term benefits for the community forum area.
  • Ongoing projects should be capable of continuing without reliance on further public funding.