World is on way to MK

Crowds at IF 2010

Crowds at IF 2010

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BUSINESSES in Milton Keynes are being urged to sign up to support this year’s International Festival – IF2012.

IF2012 will run from July 20-29, organised by The Stables theatre, bringing an array of artists from all over the world to city centre venues.

But the pressure is on as an award of just over £400,000 from Arts Council England for each Festival in 2012 and 2014 requires The Stables to raise as much again in sponsorship and other fundraising.

Dr Ann Limb, who chairs The Stables Events Board, says the festival could become a major selling point for Milton Keynes in the eyes of the world. The ambition, over time, is to make Milton Keynes an international cultural destination.

Dr Limb told a breakfast meeting of MK Business Leaders Partnership at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre on Thursday that IF2012 could “bring the city alive.”

Festival director and Stables’ chief executive Monica Ferguson said the festival in 2010 had reached an audience in excess of 90,000. And independent auditors had confirmed that it generated £4.5million in the local economy.

This year backers are aiming to attact 100,000 people, boosted by visitors staying in the UK for the Olympics.

Organisers are looking for corporate sponsors to donate help in cash and kind. Email monica.festival@stables.org for details or phone (01908) 280809.