Organisers of Stainsby Festival believe ‘the end’ could be nigh for the popular event due to potential threat from the development of the HS2 rail route in the area.
Fears for the future of the annual arts and music bash, which turned 50 this year, have been raised after it was revealed that the proposed line of the high-speed rail link would run 250 metres away from the festival bar tent.
Speaking at a politics symposium over the festival’s 50th anniversary weekend, Dr Hugh Ellis, of the Town and Country Planning Association, said: “HS2 will probably mean the end of this festival.”
Dr Ellis, who is also the festival’s vice-chairman, encouraged visitors to petition Parliament against the development, adding: “I have not seen another artistic event affected by infrastructure quite as we are.”
Tony Trafford, festival chairman, said: “We are going to have to get organised about this.
“The route threatens lots of businesses, homes, and communities through out the Bolsover area for absolutely no gain but lots of pain, both physical and emotional.
“It will cause communities around the area lots of emotional grief, never mind the festival.
“Ours is a very particular problem in that the railway will run very close to the site and the noise disturbance could be immense. We have no practical way of assessing how bad until its too late.”
An HS2 Ltd spokesman said: “We are aware of the concerns of the Stainsby Festival and local parish councils have made representation to HS2 on their behalf. We will continue to engage with the community, with no construction works in the area is anticipated until the mid-2020s. Later in the year HS2 will be publishing our Environmental Impact Assessment, and an accompanying consultation, that will set out the steps HS2 will undertake to reduce these impacts. HS2 is already becoming integral to the East Midlands’ plans to drive business growth, create jobs and secure investment.
“The East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy estimates that the opportunities for trade, investment and jobs that HS2 brings are equivalent to 74,000 new jobs and an extra £4bn to the local economy.
“More immediately nearly 600 businesses across the Midlands have already supported the project’s delivery after winning work.”
See our website for a review of this year’s Stainsby festival.