IN response to your leader in the Bolton Evening News of October 12, 2002, the Bolton Festival Committee would like to draw your attention to the fact that the first Festival in 1979 and the subsequent ones in 1981 and 1983 were funded as part of the Arts sub-committee's remit.

In 1985, the Bolton Festival became a registered charity and since then has endeavoured to be a cost effective organisation.

Since the Festival was reorganised in 1999, there has been a return to some of the events that took place in 1979 through the involvement of local groups. More than 23 per cent of the people who attended ticketed events came from outside Bolton and many people attended the wide variety of free events such as music in the art gallery, tours of the Fire Station, re-enactment days and creative arts days. Many of these events took place by working in partnership with other organisations.

In 2003, Bolton will be celebrating the 750th Charter of the town, the 250th anniversary of Crompton, the 150th anniversary of public libraries, the 100th anniversary of the local composer Thomas Pitfield.

There will be many opportunities during the Festival for people to be proud of Bolton and its heritage.

The Festival Committee is in the process of drawing up the programme for 2003 and would be happy to receive ideas and suggestions from groups or individuals who would like to be involved, so that we can take what was best from the past and bring it forward to the future.

To run a successful Festival requires secure finance and a hard working team of individuals. The latter we have but would welcome more people to be involved, the former has to be acquired from year to year.

We look forward to 2003 when we encourage the people of Bolton to join us in celebrating Festival 2003.

Elizabeth Tatman

Chair, Bolton Festival