Notting Hill Carnival masqueraders. Image Tara Hobson

It’s not often you get asked to choose who should receive £100,000 a year, but Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) is calling on people to join a panel to vet applications from groups wanting to run Notting Hill Carnival for the next three years.

This year, RBKC awarded the grant to Notting Hill Carnival Limited (NHCL), an offshoot of Carnival Village Trust (CVT), which runs The Tabernacle arts and community centre in Powis Square. Now the annual grant to help run the event from 2019 to 2021 is up for grabs.

The council wants the advisory panel to include members of the Carnival community and local residents. The panel “will make sure [the] award process is transparent and that the process is guided by the local community”. The initiative appears to be a response to criticism that for the past two years carnival organisers have been appointed over the heads of the local community.

CVT/NHCL has confirmed to Soca News that it will be submitting proposals to run Notting Hill Carnival for the next three years, but the other potential bidders are not yet known. The final decision on the grant will be made in November. The winning bidder “will need to work with the wider Carnival community and local residents in the planning and delivery of Carnival”, says RBKC.

Cllr Walaa Idris, Culture and Communities deputy lead member, explained why the council wants people to get involved in the advisory panel: “Carnival is at the heart of the cultural life of the borough and a huge majority of local people think it’s a great thing for our area. We respect Carnival as something that belongs to the community and as we introduce a new way of providing a grant to support the event, we want local people and groups have more of a voice in who receives the money.”

If you want to get involved, contact carnival@rbkc.gov.uk for information on how to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 28 September 2018. For more information about the grant itself, go to www.rbkc.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/events/grant-funding-award-notting-hill-carnival.

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