A private company will get a slice of Belper’s culinary scene as it takes over the running of the town’s renowned food festival.
Belper Town Council has agreed to allow Devonshire Markets to run this year’s Belper Food Festival, which takes place on July 12.
The one-day event will feature 110 stalls offering all kinds of mouth watering delicacies from across the world.
Belper Town Council will keep ownership of the festival and all decisions relating to it will be agreed by the Belper Food Committee and approved by full council.
Town clerk Rosalind Bullimore explained: “We will be working in partnership with Devonshire Markets because we want to keep the same
Over the last ten years the festival has grown in popularity attracting more and more people to the town.
As part of the agreement, stall prices will be going up by a quarter from £40 to £50 for regular stalls, and a third from £60 to £80 for a private stall or gazebo.
Rosalind continued: “We have been considering putting prices up for a number of years.”
She added that the council had broken even over the last few years and wanted to make sure the festival didn’t cost it any money.
“This company is delivering this service at no cost to the council,” she said.
“We’re not here to make a profit as a council and obviously a business would want to make some kind of profit out of it.”
Sam Wherrett, owner of Devonshire Markets, which is based in Bradwell, said managing Belper Food Festival was less about making a profit for him and more about building up contact with good quality traders.
He described the work his company was going to do with the festival as being like a ‘supporting arm’ to the existing set-up and said that although he would be employing a professional stewarding team, he would still be using the help of volunteers to deliver the event.
Sam said the increase in stall prices was a result of the festival’s success and the increased footfall it has seen in recent years.
He added: “The reason for the £10 increase is that £10 contribution covers the cost of bringing in professional security guards.”
Sam said he had already by ‘astounded’ by the number of stall holders who had booked their pitches in advance.
“I really hope that we can add to this festival, the last thing we want to do as a private organisation is come in and change it.”
Belper stallholder Rob Lindop, of Sage Green Cuisine, has already booked his place at this year’s festival.
He said: “I have always thought that it was on the cheap side for a food festival anyway.
“Even though it’s a bit of an increase it doesn’t seem unreasonable.”