PICKERING is again to be the venue for the Ryedale Rose Festival, but town councillors only agreed to support it with a £100 grant after a re-think.

Some councillors criticised the spending of money on a lunch-run in connection with the festival, which was staged for the first time last year at RV Rogers’ rose nurseries, in the town Councillor Fred Downes said the festival brought people into Pickering, which benefitted its economy.

An initial vote was tied 5-5, town mayor Councillor Sue Cowan registered her vote against giving a donation. However, members called for a second vote, which resulted in the money being approved by a single vote.

Organisers of the festival, The British Isles Rose Society, said: “Last year’s show was an outstanding success.”

The main part of the festival, on July 12 and 13, will be a competitive rose show with more than 50 classes. Four local schools are being invited to take part in a category called The War of the Roses.

“The festival will soon become the finest and most prestigious rose show in the UK,” said the society.

However, the Track Rod Rally organisers were refused a grant after councillors decided it would not benefit Pickering itself.