Coventry City Council consults residents on where to host Godiva Festival

GodivaFestivalCoventry residents have voted to keep the city’s Godiva Festival at War Memorial Park, following the extraordinary decision by its organisers to ask its visitors where was the best location for the event.

More than 21,000 votes were made via the council’s website, by text message or phone or by using voting slips in Coventry libraries, with 62 per cent voting to keep the event in the War Memorial Park, rather than move it to a city centre location.

The free annual event, which was cancelled for the first time in 2012 due to weather conditions, has attracted over 100,000 visits in previous years.

Councillor John Mutton, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the majority of Coventry people agree that the best place for our wonderful festival is the War Memorial Park, and I’d like to thank every single person who took the time to vote.

“I’m pleased that there’s so much passion and enthusiasm for our Godiva Festival. We’re now one of the few councils in the country that’s prepared to fund a free festival of this size, because we recognise the many benefits it brings; economically and socially.

“So I’m really pleased that people are so proud of the festival and the way it brings the city together and care so much – there’s been a really lively debate about the issue.

“It’s clear that many people liked the idea of doing more in the city centre and we’ve already come up with some ideas.

“So, for the first time, we will be holding the Godiva Carnival on a different weekend to the Festival – probably during the summer holidays – and it will take place across the city centre, rather than the simple procession to the park. We’ll be bringing Lady Godiva back home from her visit to London last year for the 2012 Olympics, because we know how much people enjoyed seeing her last summer.”

Other events planned for Broadgate and the city centre over the next few months include a beer festival, a Global Market and St George’s Day celebrations with more being planned.

“The festival stays where it belongs, in the park,” added Mutton. “But we’ve got a strong message from residents about the importance of bringing great events to Coventry and we want to make sure we develop these plans over the coming months.”

An advisory panel to help develop an events strategy for the city will hold its first meeting in early March.