Nantwich Food and Drink Festival crowds, 2012

Organisers of the Nantwich Food and Drink Festival have been stunned at the success of this weekend’s event.

More than 30,000 visitors have flocked to Nantwich and the weekend is set to generate more than £2 million for the town.

Traders reaped the benefits of streets thronged with visitors from all over the country, with many doubling their takings at a time when things generally quieten down for tourism.

Helped by the warm, dry weather, the numbers far exceeded those hoped for by organisers of the not-for-profit organisation Nantwich Food and Drink Festival Ltd.

New organisers moved the event from Mill Island to the town centre and axed the entrance fee after taking it over from the council three years ago.

Chairman Deborah Robb said: “The turn-out was stunning. It went beyond our wildest dreams and was worth every bit of the hard work we have put in as volunteers over the last few months.

“We were blessed with crisp sunshine most of the weekend and on Saturday you could barely move through town. Streets were heaving with visitors enjoying a real party atmosphere.

“It was definitely our most successful festival. In fact hundreds of people just stopped our volunteers to say how much they were enjoying themselves. We couldn’t have asked for anymore.”

Main festival venues included a Gourmet Food Hall and Food Court offering alfresco dining on the Bowling Green car-park, a new Food Theatre on the town square, children’s activity centre behind the White Horse pub and Nantwich Civic Hall, renamed the Mornflake Food Hall for the weekend.

All attracted huge crowds who enjoyed samples of fine food and drink from around the world.

Shops across town did their bit staging tastings and fun food-themed activities. They demonstrated making their pies, biscuits, pizzas and cakes while non-food shops offered special festival discounts on clothes and household goods.

Deborah, who leads a team of festival directors, added: “Last year the festival generated some £2 million in income for the town.

“Judging by the turn-out and response, we are confident that will be exceeded.

“Clearly, it gave a great boost to takings and proved phenomenally successful in promoting Nantwich. But it also did something very important in raising spirits.

“With all the excitement of the summer and the Olympics now a distant memory, it generated a real buzz. The feel good factor was back.”

6 Comments

  1. Jonathan White says:

    £2 million is certainly food for thought.

  2. Gastropod says:

    Two million quid – that would be an average of around £65 each spent by every F&D Festival visitor of any age. Over and above what residents normally spend in Nantwich at the weekend. Yes – it would be interesting to see that detailed breakdown.

  3. Liz Southall says:

    Another fabulous event for our lovely town!

    The feedback I personally gathered from visitor surveys and general chat was all 100% positive.

    Very pleasing to speak to so many people that came for the Food Festival without knowing Nantwich and being impressed with the town.

    A great conversation I had was with a family from Yorkshire who were moving to Knutsford and as a result of Saturdays visit are now looking at Nantwich so who knows how much they will spend on property here!

  4. Fiona says:

    Another fine event – with weather to match. Thanks to all the volunteers who have put so much work into organising and running the 2012 festival.

  5. Rach Griffiths says:

    Great 2 million made!
    Is it going to local charities? It states in the chronicle that the Nantwich food festival is a not for profit event.

  6. Brangane says:

    In my experience, this was a great event – well done to all concerned. The £2m benefit is an interesting figure and I would be interested to know how it is made up. Perhaps the detailed figures could be published here in a future article.

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