A 1940s festival which had been planned for next year is the subject of a possible fraud probe, police have said. The Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival announced on November 4 that the planned 2024 event would not be going ahead.
On Friday (November 10) afternoon, it posted that there is a ‘possible criminal offence’ which police are looking into. It would not comment further, as the investigation is ongoing.
In a Facebook post, Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival wrote: “Our team is currently liaising with Lincolnshire Police after the committee alerted the authorities regarding a possible criminal offence. As this is an ongoing investigation, we can make no further comment at this time.”
In a statement to the BBC, Lincolnshire Police said: “Lincolnshire Police is investigating an allegation of fraud. As the enquiry is in its early stages it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage and we will keep the public updated as and when we can.”
On November 4, the festival posted its apologies online, saying the cancellation was ‘unfortunately cancelled’.
Explaining the situation, they posted: “Sadly, operating costs have now simply become too high for us to carry on. As our free event has become more and more popular year-on-year, the costs of keeping so many people safe, secure, well-served with the right infrastructure, like traffic management, medical cover and insurances, and entertained with the kind of wide range of performances and re-enactments any crowd deserves, have risen very sharply.
“Those costs also show no signs of easing in future years, in fact they are likely to increase even more. At the same time our income and reserves have been slowly eroded by external factors. As a team of volunteers, we have taken a hard and considered look at the viability of the festival, and it is with very heavy hearts that we now have no choice but to thank everyone who has supported us in any way since 2012 and say a fond goodbye.”
The leader of East Lindsey District Council Craig Leyland, who represents Woodhall Spa, said the festival had been a major contributor to the area’s economy over the last decade.
He told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: “People have put an awful lot of effort into this, the organisers, the businesses that take part and of course the visitors who come to enjoy what we have to offer in Woodhall Spa. This investigation, the news of it is just incredibly sad news.”