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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007, 08:59 GMT
Brassed-off band feel pushed out
Salvation Army band
The Salvation Army raises money for the needy and elderly
A Salvation Army brass band says its festive fundraising has been hit by a lack of venues.

It traditionally played in the Quadrant shopping centre in Swansea in the run-up to Christmas, but the space is now used by a cafe and ice-cream stall.

Outdoor performances have also been limited and leaders say the "Christmas message is being pushed from the city."

City centre managers say they have to accommodate other groups and charities wanting to perform in Swansea.

Major Granville Myers told BBC Radio Wales' Richard Evans programme: "All the opportunities we've had over the years seem to have been reduced.

"We normally have been in the Quadrant shopping area - but this year we have been replaced by a cafe area so there is no room for us there."

Quadrant shopping centre, Swansea
It does concern me that the message of Christmas seems to be almost being pushed out of the city centre in Swansea
Major Granville Myers

He said they had also had a number of opportunities to play in Oxford Street as part of the Christmas market in the past, but they only had one date this year.

He said it was an important part of their fundraising to pay for their Christmas community programme.

"I don't think there is any great vendetta against the Salvation Army - it's just how it happens to be this year.

"We still have to raise money for needy families, we are giving out 667 vouchers to needy families in the city this year and providing over 170 toys as well.

'Real disappointment'

"We are also providing Christmas Day meals for the elderly, so we need to raise funds.

"Some of the local supermarkets have been very helpful to us and given us opportunities to play.

"But it does concern me that the message of Christmas seems to be almost being pushed out of the city centre in Swansea.

"I guess we don't have any right to be there but it's a real disappointment to us."

A spokeswoman for the Quadrant said the centre tried its best to accommodate fundraisers but that various charities had asked for space.

"We will be having a few bands in town, and this arrangement is just for this year," she added.

City centre manager Lisa Wells said: "We have a programme of events and a mix of musical entertainment over the Christmas period.

"We are trying to accommodate everyone where we can."

She said the Salvation Army were offered a number of dates but because of other commitments was unable to take them up.

SEE ALSO
Brothers' battle of brass bands
21 Oct 07 |  South East Wales
Band brassed off over noise row
21 Nov 05 |  South West Wales

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