The organisers of the Rottingdean Spring Music Festival are hoping that the event's success will leave a lasting legacy in the village.

The two week festival begins on Saturday, February 26 and concludes on Sunday, March 13. Festival director Roy Wales hopes to follow on from the success of last year’s event where organisers showcased the outstanding talent of local musicians and singers who performed alongside international guests.

Now in its second year the festival continues to find support, despite the recession. More than 160 friends, patrons and sponsors have assisted in the organisation and funding of the event.

Mr Wales said: “This year we planned 26 events but because some things sold out so quickly we added another six events to try and meet demand and those sold out as well. It’s a nice problem to have.”

The organisers hope that the festival can have a longer term effect on the community. One of the best things to come from last year’s festival was the reformation of the Rottingdean Jazz Club, with monthly performances at the Plough Inn, which have been highly successful. The Jazz events have proven so popular that organisers are considering a jazz festival in the future.

Mr Wales said that improving the quality of life for people in the community is a very important issue. “The arts bring out the creative, emotional side of people, which in a little village like this isn’t always catered for. So when you can bring good quality expressive arts to a village community, people seem very receptive.”

To ensure future generations can enjoy the arts in Rottingdean, plans are already under-way to convert an area known as The Terraces on the seafront, to create a stage for outdoor summer performances.

“These are the things that I think are quite important that the festival can bring into the community,” Roy Wales said. The Rottingdean Arts Trust will be formed to continue the project.

Notable performers returning to the festival this year will be the Hungarian Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra and mezzo soprano Sally Porter Munro from San Francisco. Organisers also welcome the Brigade of Gurkhas band & dancers who will perform in the opening gala concert in aid of the Royal British Legion.

There are some tickets still available for the festival. For a full list of performers and a diary of events please see the Rottingdean Spring Music Festival website: Tickets for events are available though the festival box office on Laureens Walk, off Nevill Road or contact the box office on 01273 308779.

By Nicola Fairhurst