Huddersfield’S popular Food and Drink Festival could still be on the menu next summer.
Not-for-profit events firm Huddersfield Live, which is run by a group of Huddersfield business owners, is the preferred partner to serve up next year’s festival on behalf of the previous organiser Huddersfield Partnership.
But the final say will be with Kirklees Council, which has launched a bidding process to decide who will run the event. The festival, which draws thousands of people each summer, is threatened with the axe due to the huge costs involved in staging it.
Huddersfield Live’s proposal would see the organisation deliver the Food and Drink Festival for a minimum of three years, subject to conditions.
Huddersfield Live chairman Nadio Granata said: “This is great news for us, for the town and we believe for the region. The Food and Drink Festival is one of the highlights of the year here in Huddersfield and further afield. It’s seen as a huge success by the many thousands of people who visit it each year and is also a huge boost to the local economy.
“Hundreds of hours of labour go into making the event happen and most of that money stays within the local economy. It’s vital that this event and others such as the Huddersfield Carnival and Festival of Light survive the austerity cuts.”
Initial funding for the Huddersfield Live bid has come from corporate sponsorships including recruitment firm Stafflex, insurance broker Eastwoods and law firm Chadwick Lawrence with additional funds pledged by local business owners Brian Stahelin, Sam Watt and Tim Gledhill.
Sam, director of Huddersfield Live and owner of the Star Inn at Folly Hall, said: “We recognise that local councils across the country are coming under increasing pressure to cut back on ‘the nice things’ and yet, as local business owners, we feel it is important for us, our families and our staff that Huddersfield continues to be a community that enjoys itself.
“It also makes commercial sense as we know that our staff, customers and suppliers support us in what we are trying to do. In the long term, we urge other like-minded businesses to chip in and help us in our mission to keep Huddersfield a fun place to work, study and play.”
Nadio added: “It’s too soon to start celebrating as we still need to submit our formal bid to the council who will then review all applications on their own merit. We expect to hear back before Christmas and if we are successful, then the real work will begin.
“We have lined up a strong team to manage the marketing, sort out all the infrastructure and book all the stallholders. We should be able to hit the ground running from early January.”
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