Published: 11:30, 06 April 2016
Tunbridge Wells music lovers can breathe a sigh of relief as a new hotel set to open in the town has stepped in to rescue Jazz on the Pantiles.
One Warwick Park, owned by Markerstudy Leisure, has agreed to save the festival - which runs from May 5 until September 29 - from a funding shortfall.
Last week it emerged Jazz on the Pantiles was in danger of being cancelled after the main sponsor pulled out just weeks before the sessions were due to begin, leaving a £10,000 funding gap.
Julian Leefe-Griffiths, owner of the Tunbridge Wells Hotel and event organiser, said: “This is fantastic news and we are incredibly pleased One Warwick Park has stepped in to allow the jazz to continue as it has done for many years. It is such a relief to find a new main sponsor.”
Mr Leefe-Griffiths said he welcomed the imminent opening of One Warwick Park in June.
The hotel will have 39 bedrooms, including one suite, a main restaurant, a Grade II listed function space and a private meeting space.
Andrew Daniells, chief operating officer of One Warwick Park, said: “When we first read that the summer Jazz festival was in danger of not happening, like most local businesses we were very concerned.
“Having previously operated a hotel adjacent to The Pantiles we appreciate how important it is to stage events which regularly attract hundreds of people to the area, all the more so this year with many large music festivals drawing people away from the town centre.
"We are delighted to be sponsoring the jazz this year, helping to ensure the success continues" - Andrew Daniells
“We see One Warwick Park Hotel as part of The Pantiles and High Street as any other business. We are delighted to be sponsoring the jazz this year, helping to ensure the success continues and our team are now working alongside the organisers to make this year better than ever.”
Jazz on the Pantiles, which draws up to 70,000 people each year and provides a financial boost to the town, will now go ahead as planned.
The financial boost is such that Pantiles traders pay half of the £70,000 bill to host the event themselves.
Aside from the £10,000 contributed by the new main sponsor, other sponsors often pay smaller amounts with the rest being made up of donations from the public on the night.
One Warwick Park is joined by Dandara, which is soon to embark on the redevelopment of Union House on The Pantiles, and Thomson Snell & Passmore, the UK’s oldest law firm and based in Tunbridge Wells, as secondary sponsors.
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