THE Nantwich Food and Drink Festival is
one of the major events in Nantwich every year - and as such, one of
the major attractions to the town for visitors from near and far.
Well, it has been up to
now. The new Cheshire East Council, which has been in power for less
than a year, has put the future of the event in doubt by saying it
doesn't wish to run the event. Add this to the
Nantwich Riverside Project which has also bitten the dust,
putting future improvements to the town's waterway on the line, and
you can see why Cheshire East Council isn't the favourite local
authority as far as Nantwich people are concerned.
Indeed, Nantwich people
(and their neighbours in Crewe) fear that local towns are suffering
at the benefit of places in the north of the new administrative
Fortunately, in both the
cases mentioned above, there are groups of Nantwich people who are
not prepared to stand idly by and let these aspects of the town
Greenspaces South Cheshire group has been
set up to look after the river banks (as long as they can find the
financial backing), a number of local people who have always been
associated with the nationally-known food and drink event are taking
steps to see that it carries on. Backing them are the organisers of
Nantwich Show - a successful agricultural event which is continuing
while other - bigger - shows call it a day.
One of the leaders of that
gallant band of people is Nantwich Town Councillor Graham Fenton who
also saw to it - along with others - that Holly Holy Day not only
continued but went from strength to strength.
website of the
town's local authority says: "(The festival) was organised by the
former Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council and the Town Council has
always given it support."
The site goes on: "The new
Cheshire East Council decided it does not wish to run it any more,
nor to pay anything towards it." And that last bit is crucial
because no matter how keen a group of
people are they have to have the money to carry off the running of
the event. Cheshire East Council is said to be planning to reduce
financial support from £20,000 a year to nothing in three years.
The Town Council said, on
its website, that they "wish the committee (of local people) well in
their bid" to run the festival. Presumably they will also continue
to put some money behind that wish.
Given the enthusiasm of
local people for getting on and staging big events - the
aforementioned Holly Holy Day (part of which is the Battle of
Nantwich re-enactment), the St George's Day celebrations, and
Nantwich Family Fun Day (the successor to Nantwich Carnival) - I
feel sure that there WILL be a Nantwich Food and Drink Festival this
But for it to continue in
the future it needs the continuing support of local people together
with people from all over the U.K. and further afield. Please make
sure you are one of them!