For anyone who may not have heard, the Brixham Pirate Festival Committee has now announced that they have been able to raise sufficient sponsorship for their festival to go ahead. This is good news and we wish them every success.

However, from comments made to Brixham Chamber of Commerce executive members, I think a few people have got their wires crossed over the Chamber’s position in regard to Brixham Pirate Festival. This is a pity because the Chamber has always been proud to support the Festival and looks forward to continuing to do so in the future.

Last year, the Chamber gave the Pirate Festival £1500.00 in April, which went towards last year’s festival. When asked to donate a further £1450 at the end of the season for this year’s festival, the Chamber was not in a position to do so.

The Chamber advised the Brixham Pirate Festival Committee that although so large a contribution seemed unlikely, given the fact that their festival is so early in the season, it is something that they would review nearer the time, when they would have a better idea as to the income that would then be coming in.

Martyn Green, Chairman of Brixham Chamber of Commerce: ‘We always intended to make a contribution – in addition to the funds that we raised on our markets for them, which they received last year – but we advised them that £1450 was unlikely. Somewhere along the way that message was inaccurately distorted into the Chamber was not supporting Brixham Pirate Festival.

With fewer traders and a lot of markets cancelled because of bad weather, we had far less income last year than the year before. That limited our options and, as a responsible Chamber, we have to make sure that we have sufficient funds for the activities we operate for our members, including insurance, market licences, promoting Brixham, website costs etc. Hopefully this year will be better but we won’t know that until the markets start in April, which is when we will be able to review our position.

However, on a more positive note, the chamber has, as we have for several years now, paid for the events boards in full, promoting both Brixham Pirate Festival and the other events on them on behalf of the people of Brixham. We have done this entirely at our own expense while committee members even gave up their own time to undertake all the art and design work themselves rather than use – and spend money on – the professional designers that have been used in the past.’