The new-look Nantwich Food and Drink Festival has been hailed a success as an estimated 30,000 people visited the town over the weekend (September 24 – 26).
It was the event’s 10th anniversary but there were two major differences this year. The festival was moved from Mill Island to the town centre and secondly, visitors could enjoy the attractions for free.
Cheshire East Council, the event’s main sponsor, ran the Love Food Hate Waste road show, which was located in a marquee behind the White Swan pub.
There was standing room only at the cookery demonstrations, given by both celebrity and local chefs, showing people how to save money on food bills by using up leftovers to create tasty meals.
Cheshire East Council, working with Visit Chester and Cheshire, has commissioned a thorough survey of the event. This will give an indication of attendance figures, economic impact and the viability of the event in the years to come.
Another of the major attractions was the Civic Hall where on the Saturday 6,000 people passed through the doors to walk around more than 40 stalls offering cheeses, honey, jams and pickles along with international delicacies.
Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing said: “I know that the organising committee and the Council have put in a lot of hard work to make this event happen so it is great to see that the festival was such a success.
“The local community indicated to us that they wanted to run the event and we were only too happy to give them the opportunity and support them both financially and organisationally.”
“Hopefully this close partnership working will mean that Nantwich is left with a food festival that can run for years to come.”
Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “One of the Council’s main aims for the festival was for Nantwich and the surrounding areas to receive a real economic boost at a time of year when tourism business can suffer.
“The fact that thousands of people visited Nantwich town centre meant that a whole range of local businesses benefited, not just those associated with food and drink.
“Hopefully this event can grow and persuade people to visit Nantwich and Cheshire East.”