A FESTIVAL is returning to the heart of Rugby this summer, headlined by a star of TV and stand-up comedy.
Actor, presenter and comedian Jason Manford and the Olivier award-winning Showstopper! The Improvised Musical will top the bill when The Festival on the Close returns to Rugby School’s historic field in June, two years after 4,000 people attended its debut as part of the School’s 450th anniversary.
Other stars of the four-day festival of music, comedy and dance include Dolly Alderton, Stomp workshops, Hometown Glory Adele Tribute, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and more.
The not-for-profit festival aims to bring in visitors to help boost the town’s economy while raising awareness and money for Cancer Research UK.
And £20,000 of funding from local companies Cemex, Urban & Civic and Stepnell will enable over 300 free creative and educational workshops and performance opportunities for local schoolchildren.
Johanne Thomas, Communities and Partnerships for Houlton developer Urban & Civic, said: “It is a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the town, and support a fantastic charity.
“We are also excited to be holding a series of design workshops at the festival to engage and inspire children from across Rugby, alongside leading London architect practice van Heyningen & Haward.”
Rob Speirs, regional director at construction company Stepnell, said: “As a family-owned business, we believe it’s our responsibility to make a positive contribution to the communities where we work and we are sure this year’s festival will be as inspiring as in 2017.”
Gemma Kitching, Senior Local Fundraising Manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re delighted to be the chosen charity for this amazing event and we’d like to thank everyone involved at Rugby School.
“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives but the good news is that, thanks to research, more people are surviving the disease now than ever before.
“Last year we spent more than £12 million on some of the UK’s best scientific and clinical research in the Midlands but we were only able to do this thanks to the dedication and generosity of our supporters, without whom we would not be able to fund our outstanding scientists, doctors and nurses.”
The Festival on the Close takes place on June 24- 27. Visit www.the festivalontheclose.co.uk for more information and tickets.