The future of Weymouth Carnival is in serious doubt as organisers face a financial crisis amid claims from traders they are owed money from this year's event.

Weymouth Carnival is a popular and long-running event in the town's calendar which raises money for good causes while also giving locals and visitors a fun day out.

A new carnival committee, made up of volunteers from the community, was established this year to organise the August 2018 event, which was revamped and led to some elements being scrapped to try and make the carnival more cost-effective.

Thousands flocked to the seafront to enjoy a food court, air display, procession, competitions and more.

But the Echo has learnt that organisers are facing financial difficulties due to allegations of money being owed, and there are concerns next year's event will not go ahead.

The carnival organising committee has yet to issue an official statement about the situation, despite numerous requests for comment from the Echo.

However carnival secretary Samantha McIntosh told the Echo that money was owed to the carnival organisers, and she indicated there would not be a carnival next year unless a new group took it on.

Next year's carnival is being advertised on the event website as taking place on August 20 and 21 – but there have been no updates or announcements since this year's carnival was held.

Traders say they have been unable to contact the carnival committee to discuss matters.

Nigel Willson, of Great British Airshows, organised the air display for this year's carnival and claims he is owed more than £14,000 – the money owed for the display plus legal fees and interest.

Speaking to the Echo, Mr Willson said he paid for all six displays in advance himself in order to secure the bookings, on the basis that he would be paid back once the carnival committee had received any money owed to it.

He is now considering legal action after allegedly being stonewalled by the carnival committee for several weeks.

Mr Willson said: "I have been trying to get the remainder of the money ever since the display took place. There is no question that they weren't satisfied, as immediately afterwards they said it was really good and thanked me. "I've unfortunately had to get solicitors involved. I'm desperately trying to help them...I want them to talk to us and settle the bill so we can move forward and think about next year if that's what they want to do."

Other local traders have also come forward with concerns about not receiving payments owed to them months after the event.

Michelle Baker claims she is owed a refund from the committee which was requested on the first day of the event, but said she has had similar issues in contacting members of the carnival committee ever since.


The Dorset Echo has made several attempts to contact carnival chairman Stacey Andrew over the last three weeks, but she has not responded to our request for comment.

The Echo was told organisers were due to have a meeting to discuss matters with Weymouth & Portland Borough Council.

A council spokesman said: "We support the event as land owner but discussion on finance is not within our remit to comment on."

Carnival committee secretary Samantha McIntosh claimed organisers were still owed money, which could be in the region of thousands of pounds, which has put them in a 'difficult position'.

She confirmed that money was owed for the air display but denied that it was as much as £14,000.

Miss McIntosh said that due to the issues faced by the current committee, there is "no way" a carnival will take place next year unless new organisers will take it on.

She also added that there was a "lack of support" this year.