THE organisers of Allendale May Fair have raised concerns about the costs of closing roads for the event.

Two roads to the village’s market place are closed for one day of the fair every year.

Until this year, the fair’s committee have only paid a small fee to do so – but this year, the council charged them £250.

It comes after the organisers of Haydon Bridge’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display were told they would have to pay £250 to close the road for the display this year, with the fee rising to £500 next year.

Vice-chairman of the fair’s committee, Nick Pepper, has warned that the charges could threaten the future of the event, and will at least mean less money for local causes.

Nick said: “We’ve always managed the road closures ourselves and informed the county council, there was a small fee – I can’t remember exactly what it was – but this year we were hit with a bill for £250.

“We’re a volunteer led event, it’s for the community, it brings in tourism and supports local businesses. People want it to continue, we’ve had great feedback.

“We run a raffle for local causes, we give money in the range of £500 to local causes in Allendale, and that’s £500 which could go on road closures instead next year. I can see where the money gets spent, but they’re employing people to do the job we’ve done adequately in the past.”

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council explained that the cost was due to a legal obligation to ensure the road closure is advertised locally, and added that the charge, which will increase by 50 per cent next year, was phased in to help.