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Party in the Park pop concert axed by Leeds City Council

ROCK ON: Thousands of fans at 2011's Party in the Park.

ROCK ON: Thousands of fans at 2011's Party in the Park.

The much-loved Party in the Park pop concert in Leeds will not be held this year as cuts to council funding take their toll, the YEP can reveal.

The cancellation of the annual summertime event represents the highest profile casualty yet of Leeds City Council’s budget cuts.

A decision has still to be made on whether this year’s Opera in the Park concert will go ahead.

While the combined cost of the two events is just £200,000, city leaders feel the council’s support is increasingly hard to justify when they have to find money to fund key services such as care for the elderly and child protection. The council says the cash it receives from the Government is being cut by 10 per cent for the year ahead.

Council leader Keith Wakefield said: “Party in the Park and Opera in the Park have been some of our jewels in the crown when it comes to cultural events and have been well supported by people locally and regionally.

“However the financial pressures on the council are so difficult that we have been left with very little choice and have to say we cannot sustain these events alone given the level of Government cuts.”

It is understood that efforts have been made to find commercial sponsors for the two events but without success.

Councillors are set to agree the authority’s budget for the year ahead later this month which will include a fresh round of savings worth £50m and the loss of around 200 jobs.

The council is also planning to increase council tax for the first time since 2010 with a rise of 1.99 per cent. Party in the Park has attracted crowds of up to 70,000 people to Temple Newsam while Opera in the Park has previously been described as the biggest open air classical music event in the country.

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