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Funding has been secured to hold a major new celebratory event on Saturday 20 July 2019 called The Tilbury Carnival. Led by Tilbury on the Thames Trust (TTT), the Windrush Day Fund has awarded £20,000 for the carnival, complementing the funding already secured which includes £10,000 from the Port of Tilbury, £5,000 from Thurrock Council and a crucial £30,000 from Arts Council England.

Thurrock is proud of its connections with the Empire Windrush, which arrived into the Tilbury Cruise Terminal on the 22nd June 1948 and a major celebration was held in 2018 to mark the 70th Anniversary of this arrival. A partnership between the Port of Tilbury; Tilbury on the Thames Trust; Tilbury Riverside Project; One Community Development Trust and Kinetika; and Thurrock Council applied to the Windrush Fund to look at how Windrush Day could be part of Tilbury Carnival 2019.

The carnival is coming back to Tilbury as an exciting spectacle for everyone to enjoy. It will be inspired by the local heritage of the area and the role of Tilbury with the Empire Windrush. The project will engage with local schools in Tilbury and residents in a programme of educational workshops that culminate in a celebratory Windrush carnival on the 20th July 2019.

Tilbury on the Thames Trust are producing the project, with locally based international carnival designer, Ali Pretty, as artistic director and her company Kinetika working with local groups to facilitate the design of flags, costumes and puppets. There will be a choreographed section lead by Creative Mass Movement Specialist Jeanefer Jean-Charles who will return to inspire and empower local dance groups. TTT are also partnering with Norwich City Council, which will see home grown Tilbury talent perform in one of England’s oldest running carnival processions – the Lord Mayor’s Procession, with a return visit of Norwich performers to join in the Tilbury Carnival.

Stuart Wallace, Chair of TTT: “We are excited that the Tilbury Carnival 2019 has been supported by important organisations including the Windrush Day Fund. The carnival will build on last year’s introduction to the Tilbury Carnival which was part of the Port of Tilbury open day. Inspired by the Empire Windrush’s landing at Tilbury Cruise Terminal, our project will involve schools and residents in a programme of workshops that culminate in a celebratory Windrush carnival in July. We hope to create an even bigger parade dancing its way through Tilbury this year and hope that everyone gets involved.”

Commenting on the carnival, Jackie Doyle Price MP said: “It’s wonderful to see the carnival return to Tilbury this summer. It will be a fantastic event for everyone to be part of and a fitting way to mark our connections with Windrush, an important part of our local history.”