Plans for Emsworth Food Festival shelved for the year

POPULAR Food fans packed Emsworth at previous festivals
POPULAR Food fans packed Emsworth at previous festivals
Jacquie Shaw of the NMRN

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AFTER six months of discussions, Emsworth Food Festival will not make a comeback this year.

The event was to be resurrected to bring people into the town and show off the independent shops.

But, after a series of meetings and market research, it has been decided by the food festival committee that there is not enough time or money to put the festival together this year.

There are still hopes it may come back in some form in 2014.

Mary Coburn, owner of Classy Cooks, and Giles Babb, landlord of the Blue Bell Inn, led the group trying to bring it back.

They worked with the Emsworth Business Association, Emsworth Residents’ Association and Havant Borough Council

Mrs Coburn said: ‘While in principle there was support and goodwill at the meetings from all three bodies, we recognise that the event will be costly and require time and input from people with experience and expertise in event management.

‘We’re looking for people or businesses with experience in either raising sponsorship or professional event management to take the festival forward.

‘We recognise with regret that the food festival won’t be staged in 2013.’

The festival was a huge success and ran until 2007 when visitor numbers reached 50,000.

It became too much for the small town and, after complaints, ended.

Mr Babb – who has now left the food festival committee due to personal commitments – said: ‘I’m disappointed it’s not going to go ahead this year.

‘I think it’s great for the village and everybody as a whole.

‘It drives people in and shows what Emsworth has to offer.

‘The festival reminds people that we’re here. We have quite a unique thing here in Emsworth but if people don’t use the businesses they will go.

‘But the door hasn’t been shut on the food festival, it’s just not happening this year.’

If you have the skills and enthusiasm to help bring the festival to fruition in 2014 let the committee know by emailing