The Westmorland GazetteMintFest will not go ahead in 2015 but will be back in 2016, say organisers (From The Westmorland Gazette)

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MintFest will not go ahead in 2015 but will be back in 2016, say organisers

The Westmorland Gazette: Mintfest wows the crowds in 2013 Mintfest wows the crowds in 2013

A POPULAR South Lakeland festival is set to take a break after this summer’s festivities.

Mintfest, Kendal’s international festival of outdoor arts, will take place in August before returning in 2016.

Julie Tait, of Kendal Arts International (KIA) which organises the event, said: “We’ve been running it for eight years now, with four very intense years and a very small team.

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“There was a reasonable budget when we started out but as with everything money is getting less and less, and we always feel there’s a need for ideas and refreshing things.

"Rather than try and do something with less money we decided to take that breath with a view to coming back in 2016 with something much more solid with a future.”

However, although the organisation made the decision not to apply for Arts Council England’s (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation funding, it has been awarded ACE’s Grants for the Arts funding of £12,000.

“This is just a small amount of money to get somebody objective in to develop the festival,” added Ms Tait.

KIA has also combined forces with the Lake District National Park Authority to work up plans for the new Mintfest and engage with audiences and artists over this August’s festival weekend.

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And Ms Tait said the postponed event could be brought forward in the year and could be here as early as May 2016, as opposed to its usual August slot.

She continued: “Inevitably, we could not hope to sustain the scale and innovation of activity made possible with Cultural Olympiad funding in 2012.

“There’s no less commitment from anybody and it is crucial that we and our partners now look at how best to secure a vibrant and innovative legacy beyond our eighth Mintfest.”

Lakes Alive’s flagship event, run in partnership with founder South Lakeland District Council, will get under way on August 29 for the three day extravaganza.

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