Woman in elaborate headdress paradeCopyright of the image
Getty Images


The carnival has been held every year since 1972

The organizers of the Caribbean Carnival in Manchester have been deprived of the right to organize this year's event.

Last month, a former accountant told the BBC that carnival accounting could be described as "cowboy work".

Manchester City Council, the event's main funder, has announced the creation of an interim group to allow this summer's carnival to unfold.

The August festival, which began in 1972, attracts around 30,000 visitors a year to the Moss Side area of ​​the city.

The BBC saw a letter from city council confirming that long-time organizers have been abandoned.

However, no competing offer was deemed strong enough to obtain the support of the board.

Luthfur Rahman, head of culture and recreation authority, said: "We must ensure that the local community enjoys unfailing support in order to develop the necessary expertise to plan and organize an event of this scale and complexity. "

Copyright of the image
Getty Images


The Moss Side event takes place at Alexandra Park

The interim group will consult locals to ensure they have "every chance" to participate this year and "have their say" about the long-term future of l & # 39; event.

Although the council does not grant the right to host the carnival, it provides the necessary funds to support it.

Members of the Caribbean community have expressed concern over the operation of the festival, led by a committee of volunteers, for many years.

The BBC investigation revealed:

  • Artists and entrepreneurs claimed that they were not paid by carnival organizers
  • A former carnival committee secretary claimed that the organization rarely produced invoices, purchase orders, or written contracts with artists.
  • Public funding has fallen sharply and private sponsorship has gone from £ 44,500 in 2010 to £ 6,000 in 2017.

The organizers of Carnival have disputed these claims and asserted that a loss of funding was due to circumstances beyond its control, such as a "stagnant economy."

Copyright of the image
Getty Images


Caribbean carnival attracts about 30,000 people

In 2018, a city council report raised concerns about how the carnival was organized.

Although he found "no evidence of theft or embezzlement on the basis of the limited information at our disposal", several amendments were requested.

In 2013, the Canada Council for the Arts withdrew funds, citing "serious concerns about artistic quality," adding that "photographic evidence demonstrates the continuing recycling of costumes."

The same year, the accountant, Aatif Rehman, expressed concerns about the accounts. He told the BBC that he was refusing to sign the books that he described as "cowboy work".


By Matthew Bone, Political Reporter, BBC Radio Manchester

The council will divide the carnival course – for example, one group will be in charge of the parade, while another will take care of the running of the stands, etc.

The interim group will then develop a five-year plan on how the carnival should be organized.

It is not yet clear who will be part of the group and whether those involved in carnival management in recent years – or those who have expressed concerns – will participate.

But that shows that the board decided that the way the event had been organized in the past could not continue and that it needed a radical change.