SANTA'S parade could be cancelled in Shipley this year unless cash can be found from private business to fund it.

For the past six years a day-long spectacular has taken place with Santa Claus making three long tours around the town centre in his sleigh.

But this year's festivities are under threat, unless firms and shops in the town can be found to meet the £5,000 cost, said John Lambert, director of Q20 Theatre, which has put on the annual show and who is leading a Save Shipley's Santa Parade campaign.

"Traditionally one of Shipley's busiest and most exciting events, this year's Santa Parade scheduled for Saturday, November 28, is at risk of being cancelled due to lack of funds," said Mr Lambert,

"Every year, hundreds of residents – including many excited children – have lined the route, eager to get a glimpse of the man in red and enjoy performances of a specially-commissioned original pantomime.

"It's a very important time of year, both from a business point of view, but also for the people of Shipley and the kids.

"As such we're appealing to local businesses to sponsor the event and help save this year's parade.

"We've all seen the sponsorship on Formula One cars, well why not do the same for Santa's sleigh?"

Mr Lambert blamed cutbacks by Bradford Council for the situation.

"Money used to come from the town centre manager's budget, but then she was made redundant," he said.

"The Council set up the Town Centre Partnership - which I'm on - with £10,000 seed money for the first year only.

"Some of that was spent on hanging baskets and there isn't enough to pay for Santa's visit.

"So we are desperately trying to get some sponsorship.

"We have done lots of good things in Shipley such as the Pirate Parade and the Street Festival and we don't want these things to get eroded."

Shipley MP Philip Davies said the town deserved more Council support.

He said: "It is time Bradford Council saw that the town centres of Shipley, Bingley and Baildon were just as important to our local communities as Bradford centre is to them.

"If Bradford Council simply wants to be the Council for the city of Bradford rather than the wider district then it is time they allowed the Shipley and Keighley constituencies to form their own Council separate from Bradford."

Bradford Council's executive member for culture Susan Hinchcliffe said the Town Centre Partnership was responsible for managing its budget.

"The Council gave a one-off £10,000 grant to Shipley Town Centre Partnership for them to spend as they see fit to support town centre activities.

"The Town Centre Partnership is made up of local businesses and is therefore well placed to decide what will support local trading best.

"Given that the Government has cut Bradford Council's funding by more than £165 million since 2010, the Council's spending is severely limited.

"However this is just the kind of activity where it would be great to see businesses stepping forward by contributing to events, they can also gain a huge amount with increased footfall in the town centre."

Anyone who wants to help fund Shipley's Santa Parade should e-mail Mr Lambert at John