STALLS are already full for this year’s Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival – despite a 150% price hike.
Businesses wanting to take part are now being placed on a waiting list after all 62 places were filled.
The success comes after average stall rates were increased from £636 last year to almost £1,200 for the same stand this year. Premium stands have risen by even more.
Organisers blame the rise on changes in staff funding and the festival’s mounting costs, despite the continuation of Kirklees Council’s £11,000 grant.
The move has angered a Huddersfield restaurant manager who now is calling for the resignation of the organising board.
But today Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership manager Cathy Burger said the time had come for businesses to contribute to the running costs of the festival – which made a loss of £10,000 last year.
“It has now got to the stage where it is supporting local businesses and they are not having to take any risk coming to the festival because it is such a successful event,” she said.
“When we were building up the festival, it was risky so we kept stall costs low.
“But they are making a lot of money from it now. It is time for businesses to put their hands in their pockets.
“When you put prices up you do worry, but because we have had such a positive response in terms of bookings we can now get on with arranging all the entertainment.