THE cash-strapped city council is considering charging for entry to the annual Worcester Show to boost funds.

Worcester City Council has revealed the plan to introduce an entry fee for the family-friendly and currently free Worcester Show as one way of helping with its worrying budget issues.

The event, which is held every August at the city’s Pitchcroft Racecourse, regularly attracts 10,000 visitors and includes everything from market stalls to flower and vegetable competitions, live music and performances, dog shows and sports.

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The entrance fee is one of two potential money-making and money-saving measures already on the table by the city council – with a plan to close the historic Guildhall on Sundays as part of a move to save around £14,000 plus the saving on its ever-rising energy bills.

The city council was facing a £1.7m gap in its books this year – which it has already been agreed will be filled by using reserves – and expects the gap to grow to nearly £4m in the next five years.

But council bosses warn they are now reaching the point where there will not be enough in the reserves to continue plugging gaps in the budget in that way.

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A city council spokesperson said: “All councils in England have faced reductions in funding over the past few years but costs have increased rapidly in the past 18 months due to the cost-of-living crisis and increases in energy costs.

“It is essential therefore that we look at the costs of delivering essential services to make sure that that they are cost-effective and efficient and also to make sure that we are focusing on delivering the services that people need.

“We also need to make sure that where costs are increasing for paid-for services, those costs are met by those who choose to pay for them rather than falling to council taxpayers – we need to get to a position where increases in costs are matched by increases in income every year to ensure that services are sustainable in the long term.”