Airport cash used to plug the £394,000 loss incurred by July’s disastrous Love Luton Festival had been allocated to help local charities, the Luton News has learned.
A dividend payment of £400,000 from Luton Airport funds to cover the embarrassing deficit caused by poor ticket sales for concerts headlined by boyband The Wanted and chart-topper Olly Murs had been part of a £750,000 lump sum put aside to ‘make charitable donations’, Luton Borough Council confirmed this week.
A further £96,000 of that fund will also be lost as the money becomes liable to taxation if it is not donated to charity as planned.
Readers took to our Facebook page and Twitter yesterday in fury at the use of the dividend.
Jamie Newell tweeted: “Charity begins at home...in this case covering one’s failure and cushioning the blow of an expensive day out in the rain.”
Bobby Presley described the loss of potential charity funding as “absolutely disgusting” on our Facebook page while Neil Jones added: “The council demonstrates that they have no real interest in the town or people of Luton. The chief exec should resign as the population of Luton has no faith in him.”
The money had originally been put aside to pay for a row between the council and Luton Airport operators over differing plans to expand the airport. But when the two sides reached an agreement and decided to submit a joint strategy for growth over the summer the £750,000 fund was set aside for donation to local charities.
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