Accrington Food Festival brings more than £200,000 into local economy

Over 10,000 attended as Accrington Food Festival returned in style last weekend. Attractions included international, regional and local food markets, 1940’s singers, a full-size Spitfire plane static display, a war re-enactment and a kitchen demo area featuring TV star Molly Robbins and some amazing local businesses. 

The display area, hosted by Molly, as seen on Netflix series “Extreme Cake Makers,” featured Molly decorating two different cakes, a Ready Steady Cook challenge, and cooking by North Lancs Training Group’s hospitality tutor, Paul Maguire, and Paul Fox from Abbey Street’s The Crafty Fox.

Research conducted on the day with visitors showed the day to be a great success. Comments we overwhelmingly positive, with the event being praised for keeping Accrington busy, and having lots to see and do.  Comments included:

  • “Really good – everyone enjoying themselves, it’s diverse, something for everyone.
  • Top notch!
  • War re-enactment was brilliant.
  • The plane, and everyone dressed up looked great.
  • Worth coming over for – there’s stuff for the kids to do.
  • We go to a lot of food festivals, this has been great!”

The research showed that 70.7% of visitors surveyed had come along as a family, with the others being individuals or groups of friends. 59.8% of visitors surveyed were aged between 25 and 44. 98.6% of visitors came into Accrington specially to visit the event, so it was definitely a draw and a boost to the town centre economy. A town trail had been delivered to schools, to encourage families to walk around different areas of town, not just the town centre and collect stamps along the way.

When asked how much they were planning to spend on the day, the answer came back at an average of £33.46, with more than one respondent saying £200. Per head, this can be estimated at around £20, which is great news for Accrington.

Miles Parkinson OBE, leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, commented: “I’ve never seen the town so busy, what an incredible event today which has really given a boost to our local traders. Amazing Accrington have put on some amazing events over the years and the Food Festival gets more spectacular every year. With 10,000 visitors, and the spend figures mentioned, we can estimate that just this one event has put £200,000 back into the local economy. That’s great news for the town!”

Molly Robbins added: “I had the best day, the organisation was incredible, I do a lot of food festivals. This has been above and beyond, everybody has looked after us, and it’s been so well organised – everyone has had an amazing time. Thank you very much for having me!”

You can see more photographs and videos on the Amazing Accrington website www.amazingaccrington.co.uk and look up their social media channels for more coverage from the event.