Friday, 20th October saw movers and shakers of the Staffordshire culinary scene attend a glittering ceremony at Lichfield Cathedral to mark the NFU Mutual Taste of Staffordshire Good Food Awards 2017.
Staffordshire’s biggest gastronomic gathering will be going ahead as planned on Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2017 following meetings between organisers and Stafford Borough Council.
Discussions resulted in the council agreeing to allow the festival to use more of the green space on Westbridge Park to make up for the area lost due to development works. The move will see festival organisers foot the bill for the installation of a new access gate to the park to enable the event - which welcomes some 15,000 visitors over the three days and has an estimated £750,000 economic impact on the local economy - to go ahead as planned. Festival Chairman, Richard Stevens, says:
“We are relieved following talks with the Borough Council that the festival is safe for another year. All we wanted was reassurance that the event could go ahead as planned - in order for it to do so we need the same amount of space on Westbridge Park as in previous years. We also look forward to being involved in the council’s consultation on the mid to long-term plans for the green area at Westbridge Park, with the hope that we can help secure sufficient space for the event and the town’s other festivals to continue for many years to come.”
Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure at the Borough Council said:
“We have been hugely supportive of the Stone Food and Drink festival over the years. It is a very popular event which brings thousands of people into the town, recent research demonstrates the boost it provides to the local economy, and it creates a real buzz around the area.
“I was confident it would go ahead because that is what we all wanted. And we want to see the festival continue in the long term as an important part of the events calendar of Stone.”
For further details on the Stone Food & Drink Festival, which will take place on Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2017 visit www.stonefooddrink.org.uk