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Students and young people working on secret float to boost Barking and Dagenham's chances at 2020 New Year's Day Parade

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 December 2019

A balloon at a London New Year's Day parade. Barking and Dagenham is keeping the plans for its float secret to keep a competitive edge. Picture: Matt Sprake/MSP.

A balloon at a London New Year's Day parade. Barking and Dagenham is keeping the plans for its float secret to keep a competitive edge. Picture: Matt Sprake/MSP.

Matt Sprake/MSP

The borough is keeping its float plans under wraps for the 2020 New Year's Day parade to boost its chances of winning a cash prize for charity.

Barking and Dagenham mayor Peter Chand confirmed it is keeping the plans secret to keep the competitive edge.

But he did say the borough is working with young people at Dagenham Youth Zone and Barking and Dagenham College students to make the float. It'll be housed on a vehicle donated by Ford.

"The reason it's under wraps is because in this early stage we don't want to let slip [anything] and anyone use [our] ideas," said Cllr Chand.

"I'm hoping that we'll win. I think we've got a good chance because we've put something really unique together.

"We've got lots of people in the float this year. People with disabilities. We've got young people on the float, we got the elderly on the float, we've got a whole cross-section of the community."

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Cllr Chand added the creation is set to be unveiled on December 18.

The City of London has a pot of £65,000 to give to the parade entrants. Barking and Dagenham is up against 17 other London boroughs, including Havering, Redbridge and Westminster.

Sutton came first in 2019, winning £10,000. As a runner-up, Barking and Dagenham won £5,000.

"London is just bursting with energy, creativity and life," said Bob Bone, executive director of the parade. "We wanted to show the world just how much joie de vivre we have to offer - and share it around on such a joyous occasion.

"We give the opportunity for London boroughs to step out on a global platform, entertain the world, radiate their true spirit and raise a tremendous amount of money for charity in the process."

2020 will be the 34th time the parade has been held. Bands, horse riders and fire-breathers from London's Chinese community are among the attractions that will be appearing on the route.

It's free to see the procession. It starts at 12pm on Piccadilly and travels round St James' Park before finishing on Parliament Street. Bands have been asked to march silently past the Cenotaph in Whitehall, so the parade's organisers recommend watching from elsewhere.

More information about the parade can be found at lnydp.com.

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