Why the Council supports events
Leader, Alan Smith, explains why Allerdale Borough Council supports events in the area.
It was great to see Taste Cumbria prove to be such a roaring success yet again this past weekend. The event in Cockermouth is now in its ninth year. It’s the flagship Taste Cumbria event and, whilst there are now similar events in other local towns, I’m proud that the Cockermouth one remains the best.
We have a strong commitment to supporting festivals and events in our towns and put on a wealth of events ourselves, as well as support many more through our festivals and events fund. In recent months we’ve seen a Music and Laughter festival in Workington, Northbound in Cockermouth, the Lakesman in Keswick, When Norman Met Kelly in Maryport, Solfest based outside Aspatria and let’s not forget the Tour of Britain - all with help from us.
However, we’ve recently received some questions about why we do this and what it brings to our area. Let’s look at Taste Cumbria as an example.
Allerdale Borough Council has supported Taste Cumbria from the very start when local traders got together in the wake of the 2009 floods to give the town a boost. I’m really proud that it has grown from those early beginnings into Cumbria’s biggest food festival which draws thousands of people into the town.
Last year it is estimated that Taste Cumbria brought an estimated 40,000 people and nearly £2m into Cockermouth. These figures are based on research carried out by an independent company. Many non-food shops have their best days of the year during the event and I’m sure given the anecdotal feedback from traders, this year’s event will be even more successful.
And the money goes further still. Let’s also not forget that the organisers, Newsquest Cumbria, are from here, many of the support services are from Cumbria, as are most of the stall holders. All creating wealth and jobs in our area.
These events take a lot of organisation with a lot of upfront costs. They simply would not happen without our support.
They make our towns vibrant, inviting and somewhere people can be proud to live in.
And of course there is the coverage in the media. Our area was showcased to over 100 countries in the world thanks to the Tour of Britain. We simply could not afford that sort of coverage ourselves.
That’s why we support events in our towns. And it is something we should be proud of.
This column originally appeared in the News and Star on 4 October. Since then figures for the success of Taste Cumbria Cockermouth have been released and they are really fantastic with the event bringing in £5.4m into the area - double the figure for 2017. Find out more.