It's the end of the road for Weymouth Carnival as the group which stepped in to save it announced it was pulling out due to a lack of financial support.

In what could sadly be the final instalment in the carnival saga, the Rotary Club of Weymouth has revealed that it is stepping away from organising the August extravaganza after its request for £40,000 from Weymouth BID was refused.

The surprise announcement comes just months after the club said it was looking to partner with the BID to bring the event back in 2020. It was a glimmer of hope for the community, who were shocked as the 2018 carnival organisers pulled out amid news they were in a financial crisis.

There was sadness with year's carnival not going ahead – but there was hope of a rebirth in 2020 with Rotarians, who ran three successful carnivals from 2010-2012, back at the helm.

Dennis Corbett, a Rotary Club of Weymouth member, told the Echo: "We were approached by members of the BID who asked if we would be prepared to take on the running of the carnival. They suggested it as we have the skills and manpower to put a carnival together. We were told they would be a partner and they would give financial backing.

"We went back to the club, set up a committee and started developing the way forward. Of course, with the BID you have to put in a formal application for funding. We explained to them what we were thinking was all very positive."

However Mr Corbett said after "very little response," the BID board denied the funding.

He said: "We said we would do [carnival] for four years. We needed £40,000 for the first year to cover costs, taking it down to £30,000 in the second year, £25,000 in the third year and then £20,000 in the fourth. The principle is that as you develop an event it becomes successful – the carnival has not been successful for the last few years. People have been trying but they don't have the organisational skills or backing."

Rotarians had planned to bring back favourites such as the Red Arrows and Carnival Queen, as well as promoting stalls which featured more local crafts.

Weymouth BID's chief operations officer Claudia Moore said the money requested was too much for a one-day event.

She said: "Board members went out to speak to levy payers and found out how they felt about it. It is a massive slice of next year's budget for one day...the town's not going to be empty, whether we have a carnival or not.

"Obviously we do want to support it if possible."

The Rotary Club, which carries out fundraising activities for local charities, is responsible for organising the popular Fayre in the Square festival and other events.

Mr Corbett said: "With the carnival carnival we're losing something that's been a part of Weymouth for many years. I do believe carnival is over. It's a rotten shame."

Run by volunteers

In January, the future of the carnival was thrown into uncertainty when the organisers of last year's event 'stopped trading' and pulled out.

In an announcement, Stacey Andrews, former carnival chairman, said: "Although last year was a fantastic event we failed to raise enough funds to continue.

"We also have a distinct lack of volunteers I would like to respectfully remind you that Weymouth Carnival is put on and managed by volunteers alone and in the end only six of us worked extremely hard to put it on mostly to the cost of ourselves and our families."

It came after the Echo learnt that organisers were facing financial difficulties due to allegations of money being owed, and that there were concerns the event would not go ahead.

The announcement that Weymouth Carnival could be no more marks the end of an event that has spanned more than 80 years and raised tens of thousands for local charities over the decades.