THE FUTURE of a major charity event could be at risk without more financial support.

That is the view of a report to town councillors on the Oswestry Balloon Carnival, which drew thousands of visitors and raised funds for Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham.

The report, by town clerk David Preston and his assistant Arren Roberts, says that next year's event is at risk of not being held if businesses do not support it.

Councillors are tonight (Wednesday, September 19) set to decide whether to increase funding for the Oswestry Balloon Carnival from £10,000 to £15,000.

The event drew crowds to Cae Glas Park throughout Saturday, August 25, where an estimated 8,000 people attended the carnival's Night Glow event.

Several businesses had reported their busiest trading day of the year, according to the report.

However, they added that while the Balloon Carnival - which is held in partnership with Linstrand Technologies and Cloud 9 Balloons - and was a success, some of the original objectives were not achieved.

"In particular, the event was not well supported by local businesses in terms of sponsorship and in terms of engagement," they said

"The Continental Market could not operate along Church Street and so the event was focused in Cae Glas Park rather than being a whole town event."

The report also outlined the risks involved in the event, which costs around £25,000 to run.

Poor weather meant that the carnival's second day was called off and access for large vehicles was an issue, the council officials said.

The report added that event partners underwrote many costs, anticipating business sponsorship.

But it added: "Finding sponsorship is extremely difficult and if local businesses do not support the 2019 event then there is a risk of it not taking place."

Town trader Yossi Gliksman, welcomed the carnival but said that it would be unfair to ask businesses who were already paying for the Oswestry Business Improvement District project to contribute.

"It would have been a 'yes' if you asked me last year, but now you have the BID, which is another tax that some of the businesses have got to pay," he said

"Now, I don't think that businesses should contribute. I think every event that happens in the town centre is very beneficial to everybody but as it stands now, I don't think it would be fair to ask businesses who have got to pay this new tax."

Mr Gliksman, a former chairman of Oswestry Chamber of Commerce, added that the BID should contribute in future.

The report also notes that there is a commitment to work with Oswestry Chamber of Commerce and and the Oswestry BID to "ascertain their support in the form of sponsorship" to the tune of £10,000.

BID chairman Ian Follington said that the project could not sponsor the carnival, as it was set up to promote businesses rather that events like festivals.

But he added that it could help with organisation and promoting the carnival to BID members.