Food Festival will help "reshape" town centre, say council chiefs
COUNCIL chiefs hope another bumper Food and Drink Festival will help a drive to reshape Bolton town centre.
The annual foody spectacular opens today for an extended weekend of culinary delights and demonstrations from some famous faces, with tens of thousands of people due to descend on the town from all over the country.
Last year’s event was a record breaker with about 100,000 people getting involved in events ranging from live demos by celebrity chefs, to sampling locally brewed ales and tasting food from all over the globe.
Earlier this year Bolton Council rubber-stamped a new town centre strategy, which will reshape the future of the town.
It will shrink the size of the shopping area and try to entice more “quality” and family-focussed restaurants and food outlets.
Keith Davies, the council’s director of development and regeneration, hopes the continued success of the festival will play a part in attracting new businesses to the town.
He said: “Year on year we’ve seen big increases in the number of people coming.
“People come from all over, we’ve had people from overseas, the south of England, Newcastle, they come individually and quite a few on coach trips.
“There are the economic benefits but it’s the profile it gives Bolton too.
“We’ve got people coming and having a really good time in Bolton town centre, hopefully people that will want to come back and put businesses here.
“We’re geared up now to be able to support people that want to take space in the town centre.
“The food offer is something we’re looking to develop all the time.”
He added: “Last year was exceptional, if we can get near to last year’s figures we’ll be really pleased.”
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