More than 40,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s Wigan Food and Drink Festival spending an estimated £250,000 in the local economy!
Once again local businesses have been at the forefront of this year’s festival, offering support and sponsorship, despite the extremely tough national economic climate.
Now, that generosity will be repaid with a massive post Christmas economic boost for the local economy.
Richard Broadly, General Manager of main food and drink sponsor, Hitchen Foods, said: “16 per cent of the local economy in Wigan and Leigh is involved in food production so it’s a major employer and component of Wigan life.
“This festival gives businesses like ours the chance to highlight and shine a spotlight on local restaurants, restauranteurs, chefs, suppliers and producers in a genuine celebration of what is good about Wigan Borough’s food and drink industry and we’re tremendously proud to once again be involved with this wonderful festival.”
Highlights this year during the ten day festival include a demonstration and dinner hosted by celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and there will be appearances by local sporting celebrities. And returning by popular demand in the brand new Piazza in Wigan Town Centre will be the wonderful Lancashire Hotpots. There will also be Fine Food Trails, a packed events programme and the ever popular outdoor Kitchen Theatre.
Wigan Food and Drink Festival starts on Thursday 1 March with the 25th CAMRA Wigan Beer Festival at Robin Park Indoor Sports Centre.
Organiser Keith Bergman from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust said: “A full and varied programme has been put together during what are very challenging economic times for Wigan’s big businesses and particularly for our small enterprises.
“All credit must therefore go to our sponsors and restaurant partners. Who, despite such pressures, remain committed to Wigan and to putting on events for local people and visitors.”
The Wigan Food and Drink Festival 2012 would not be possible without the continued support of local restaurants and local sponsors including Hitchen Foods, Hazeldene, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, Metrofresh, Ellseys, Rigalettos, FISWAL, Wigan Council, CAMRA, Wigan Observer, Visit Manchester and Food Connect – the Greater Manchester Food and Drink Industry Support Initiative
For more information visit the Wigan Food and Drink Festival website (external link)
2012 Wigan Food and Drink Festival at a glance
The 2012 festival will comprise a bigger than ever menu of events and activities including:
The Wigan Fine Food Trail. Featuring 15 of the Borough’s finest restaurants, each offering very special festival menus.
The Wigan CAMRA Beer Festival. (1st – 3rd March). A festival in its own right and one of the largest and most popular real ale festivals in the north of England and celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012.
There will be around 80 real ales, 35 ciders and perries with draught and some bottled continental beers. A free bus will be available once again from the Anvil Pub (timetable available nearer the time). The branch has taken the decision yet again to make no increase on affordable admission prices which have not changed for the last three years and as always CAMRA members get free admission at all sessions.
The Wigan Food and Drink Events Programme. 10 packed days and nights of special events taking place in local restaurants, pubs and other venues. In 2012 there will be wine tasting evenings, special dinner nights, menu launches, taster events, tours and cookery schools. Celebrity Chefs booked to appear include Jean-Christophe Novelli and star of BBC's Something for the Weekend - Simon Rimmer.
The Wigan Outdoor Market Kitchen Theatre. (5th – 10th March). Six days of demonstrations taking place this year from the brand new Piazza at the Wiend in Wigan Town Centre. There will be ‘Skool Dinners’ - the brilliant Wigan Schools Young Chef of the Year Competition. There will be daily sessions hosted by local chefs with tastings and demonstrations. Celebrity chefs will also be take to the stage as well as local sporting stars involved across the week.
Food and Drink in the Community. A programme of talks, demonstrations and exhibitions within local libraries, community centres, museums and schools.
Continental Marketplace. (7th – 10th March) a street full of colourful and cultural food and drink traders from around the world. Complimented by entertainment and demonstrations. And returning on Saturday 10 March are the wonderful - Lancashire Hotpots, performing live from the stage in the Piazza .