The following statement was released by Friends of Castle Green this afternoon. Your Herefordshire wishes the group the very best for future directions and offer our unwavering support.

“After 17 years of tremendously successful community events held on Castle Green, the Directors of FOCG have taken the difficult decision to re-prioritise the short to medium term objectives of the organisation.

FOCG has become a vibrant events-led organisation since it was founded in 2002. When we started, we were the only community organisation in Hereford holding regular, and very popular, free to attend outdoor events. We are very proud of our record of helping to stimulate the growth of community events-led groups within the city and the fantastic work they are now doing.

The recent Community Asset Transfer of the Pavillion on Castle Green to FOCG stewardship is an exciting development which requires FOCG to develop a new approach to its city centre role. Based on overwhelming feedback from our city-wide consultations held last year with FOCG members and the wider community, the Directors have made the difficult decision to step back from being an event-led organisation and focus our work on the Pavilion. The most strongly voiced opinion in the consultations was for FOCG to focus on restoring, revitalising and renovating the Pavilion as a community space for all. By narrowing our focus now, we will ultimately be able to provide and expand our community capacity sooner rather than later.

We acknowledge that this decision will be disappointing to the many supporters of our events, especially the Fireworks Spectacular, which will not now go ahead this year. We hope that the Castle Green will continue to host large scale events, but not necessarily organised & run by us.

Whilst this is a big change to the operation of FOCG, the Directors are unanimous in their agreement of the way forward.

This is an exciting time for FOCG, we hope that the coming conversation with all our stakeholders & partners about the way forward will result in an even more dynamic city centre community group!”