The Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival is a terrific example of something we could consider in Lightwoods Park, particularly in front of Lightwoods House when it has been restored.
The Leamington Festival is promoted in conjunction with their local Business Improvement District, (BID), a traders organisation where local businesses pay a small amount of additional business rates, but which they then have total control of how it is spent – which is something we would also like to encourage in Bearwood. The Food and Drink Festival has over 140 stall holders, and it attracts many of the local businesses, giving them an opportunity to display their produce. Also there are stallholders from surrounding districts, selling drink – alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and foods and food related products from every corner of the world.
It attracts thousands, if not tens of thousands of people in to the town, very many of whom go on to spend money in the local shops, bars and restaurants. They also have music on the bandstand and a mini-fair for younger children.
(Incidentally, the lads with the BBQ were from West Bromwich…)