The Examiner can reveal that Nadio Granata’s organisation Huddersfield Live! – which he chairs – has submitted a six page document to Kirklees Council setting out ways of allowing it to continue.
More than 100,000 people attended this year’s four-day festival in St George’s Square in August but the costs of staging the event – £145,000 – put it in serious doubt.
After this year’s festival Vernon O’Reilly, chairman of the board of Huddersfield Partnership, which organises the event, said: “I don’t think there will be a Food and Drink Festival next year.
“We don’t have the funds. Unfortunately, these events are really expensive to put on.”
But Mr Granata, head of marketing at award-winning recruitment firm Stafflex Ltd, based at Chapel Hill, said he hopes his plans could keep the festival going.
Sponsors have already put up £10,000 of investment in Huddersfield Live! and he said he hoped a way forward could be found.
He said: “Huddersfield Live! has now submitted a six-page document to the council outlining our vision for the maintenance and marketing of events in and around Huddersfield including the Food and Drink Festival as well as the Caribbean Carnival and the Festival of Light.
“We have brought in Chris Alexander, a former head of culture and tourism at Sunderland Council, who masterminded a £1m-plus events programme, and we are paying him to carry out a feasibility study across a range of events throughout the town because he has experience of fundraising and sponsorship.
“We are aware that we are living in austere times and the reduction in council contributions and we are not suggesting that we have found the answers to all of this.
“But I was one of the first stallholders 16 years ago at the first Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival so I’m aware of how it has outgrown its original concept."
Mr Granata added: “Our proposals require significant support and restructuring in order to deliver it next year. Without that it’s not likely to happen.
“We are proposing some chargeable elements of the event in the future for some events.
“We are looking at the whole mix and to demonstrate that there’s scope for it to be even better.
“If we can find a way to make it work we will but if it doesn’t stack up then we won’t be taking any risks.
“The next stage will be to hear back from the council. Should that go well we would require fully costed out proposals.”
Kirklees Council has already said it wants to join forces with outside groups and organisations to ensure town centre events can still go ahead.