A PLAN has been set up which could save the popular jazz festival in Upton-Upon-Severn.

Organisers say they will run a reduced festival programme for two years to recover their financial position after it emerged that rising costs and low volunteer numbers were putting its future in doubt.

READ MORE: Future of Upton Jazz Festival in doubt

The plan, put forward by Jon Parsons, one of the festival’s trustees, sees events being held in venues in the town with no marquees or outdoor stages, reducing the cost of the set-up.

Some events will be paid and some will be free, with popular favourites such as the Best of Young Jazz still taking part in the festival.

As part of the plan, the town council has agreed to allow use of the Memorial Hall at a reduced rate for the first two years to help the festival recover its financial position.

At the full meeting of Upton Town Council, Mr Parsons said: “We have not achieved our goal of getting three key people to take on the jazz for the next five years or an influx of financial support which would solve the problem, but it was always a big ask. We do have a plan, and I wanted to thank councillor John Thompson for the work he has put in on that.”

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Councillors said although they would not normally agree to something like this, the alternative was to not hold a jazz festival at all.

They voted to accept the plan, and agreed that the jazz festival, which is world famous, should be protected.

Mayor of Upton Henrietta Ross said: “The plan is commendable but we still have costs so we need to know what these are. We need to make sure we at least cover the initial cost of the light and electricity needed to keep the hall open.”

Mr Parsons said: “We were in a pessimistic mood when we initially spoke to the council in September due to the rising costs and decline in volunteers. We think this plan will maintain the musical quality of the festival and promote the town.

“We are very grateful to the town council for their support. There was a collective determination from the town to keep the jazz alive.

“Next year will be the 35th year of the festival and it is known internationally, and this has given us the momentum to start planning for it.”

The meeting took place on October 22.