October 1, 2014 | Community News
Visitors to a biannual community family festival in a West Yorkshire village can now escape any unwanted summer showers after a four figure grant from the Banks Community Fund paid for the purchase of three new marquees.
MethleyFest, which takes place on the Church Lane Playing Fields in Methley, to the south east of Leeds, is a combination of a village fete and a music festival, and aims to offer an affordable, fun day out for people across the local community, with any surplus generated on the day being given to village groups.
As part of preparations for this year’s event, which took place on August Bank Holiday Monday, a £5,000 grant was provided for the purchase of three new marquees, two of which were used as eating areas and the third as a stage for children’s entertainment.
This charitable fund was established by property and energy business The Banks Group to support environmental and community projects in the vicinity of its developments.
The funding from Banks, who were also supporters of Methleyfest 2014, also covered the installation of a new water and electricity supply that will be available for use in the staging of future community events.
Kevin Dobson, a member of the MethleyFest organising committee, says: “The idea of Methleyfest was to offer an inexpensive, fun day out for all the family that wasn’t designed to make a big surplus, with any money that we might make going back into the community.
“The event started at noon and gradually transformed as the day went on from a traditional village fete with stalls and a brass band to an evening music festival at which a number of local bands performed in our beer tent.
“We had a fantastic response to the first Methleyfest, where many times the few hundred people that we’d expected came along and stayed all day, meaning that everything we’d bought ran out, and even when it rained all day in 2012, we still had a brilliant turnout.
“Having these new marquees in place made a massive difference to this year’s event, and we’re extremely grateful to Banks for their generous support.”
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “Supporting local communities that host our projects is at the heart of Banks’ development with care approach to business. MethleyFest brings together every part of the community to make a brilliant family event, and the amount of energy, enthusiasm and commitment that goes into making each one a success shows the passion that local people have for it.”
Banks Property is currently proposing a new £20m residential property scheme on Station Road Methley, which would encompass 181 new family homes being built on a 7.7 hectare site, and which would see a range of community and environmental benefits worth over £2m included in the overall scheme design.