BRIDGWATER Carnival 2016 was officially launched at a special event for businesses and organisations this week.

Nearly 100 people packed into Bar 27 in the town to see the formal unveiling of the publicity material, which was hosted by BBC radio presenter, Emma Britton,with a guest appearance by Tommy Banner from The Wurzels.

During the evening, guests heard from businesses and speakers, including Ian Dyer, chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, Roger Smith, Angel Place Shopping Centre manager, Darrell Hill, director of Somerset Willow Company, and Andy Meek, life member of Ramblers Carnival Club.

Various research projects and studies have concluded that Bridgwater Carnival is worth an estimated £4 million annually to the local economy - £2 million during the weekend of the carnival and a further £2 million from carnival related activities throughout the year.

Roger Smith, said: “Bridgwater Carnival brings a tremendous amount of benefits into the town and the surrounding area, and the impact it is having on the local business sector is improving year after year.

"All of the tenants in Angel Place recognise this and are fully behind the support we give this magnificent event, and we are so fortunate it happens right on our door steps."

Bridgwater Carnival committee members also revealed the new initiatives which were being launched and explored in readiness for Bridgwater Carnival 2016.

A new mobile phone and tablet app has just been developed and commissioned to give mobile users easy access to information on the carnival.

There is also potential to live internet stream this year’s carnival on Saturday November 5.

Another new feature for this year has been the making of a short promotional film for the carnival concerts, which was premiered at the business launch event.

The film has been produced and directed by Conor Shutler from the University of Gloucester who is currently studying for a television production degree.

The film will be used on social media and on the website.

Gary Stephens, chairman of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Committee, said: "The event was a great success and it was tremendous to see so many local business representatives interested in Bridgwater Carnival, our plans and how they can get more involved.

"We are always looking at ways in which we can take Bridgwater Carnival to the next level and to improve the spectator experience, and hopefully people can see how passionate we are in ensuring it survives for future generations to enjoy.

"On behalf of everybody associated with Bridgwater Carnival, I would like to thank everybody for giving up their valuable time to listen to what we had to say."

Dave Stokes, publicity officer for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said: “I would like to thank both The Carnival Inn and Michael J Dodden and Co for sponsoring this year’s publicity material.

"If it wasn’t for the help and support we receive from local business and organisations, our carnival would not be as successful as it is."