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Beverley Food Festival in the limelight

Graham Stuart MP (centre), with Beverley Town Clerk Helen Watson and David Howell, of the East Yorkshire Local Food Network after the Countryside Alliance presentations at the House of Lords

Beverley Town Clerk Helen Watson and David Nowell, of the East Yorkshire Local Food Network, represented Beverley Food Festival at the finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards, held at the House of Lords.

The food festival had been named as the Yorkshire regional winner in the food and drink category and was up against other regional winners all hoping to win the overall national award.

Ultimately, Beverley was amongst the runners-up, the food and drink “Oscar” going to a mobile farm shop based in a converted horsebox, serving communities in Sussex.

David Nowell told us: “I’m delighted that Beverley and Holderness’ producers were recognised for their excellence by the Countryside Alliance Awards.  I’m disappointed that we missed out on first place, but this has only made me more determined to achieve it in the future.

While Helen Watson said they were honoured to be recognised as a regional winner in such a prestigious competition.

She added: added: “I’m so pleased that our hard work paid off and that we were recognised as a regional winner in this prestigious award. Beverley Town Council has managed and operated this Food Festival since 2006 which celebrates our historic market town, businesses and its community, along with the wonderful rural hinterland of quality, local food producers in East Yorkshire. The Judge enjoyed her visit to Beverley and met a variety of Food Festival chefs, producers and volunteers on the judging day.”

Mr Stuart told Beverley FM: “What a wonderful celebration of rural communities. I had a great time at the Countryside Alliance Awards. Beverley Food Festival may have missed out on first place (this time), but it was the Yorkshire winner in the food and drink category, which is an impressive achievement. Chosen from 18,000 applicants, the regional finalists in each of the categories reflected the very best of British food and rural industry. 

“For those that haven’t had the pleasure of attending, Beverley Food Festival takes place once a year. Thousands descend on the town to sample the food and drink of local producers. The festival features stalls with a whole manner of delicious farm and traditional East Yorkshire goods, there’s a Marquee with a host of local chefs, and quality hot food vendors. The success of the Beverley Food Festival is a mark of the quality of produce throughout my constituency, and all of those that participate in the festival should be extremely proud.” 

He continued: “The Countryside Alliance Awards are an excellent means through which to boost tourism in rural areas. Beverley Food Festival draws in visitors from the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, and I’m sure the award of regional winner will build on its success.

“A thriving tourism sector is a key part of strengthening the East Yorkshire economy. Whether through encouraging local community groups to apply for the £44 million historic high streets fund or through raising awareness for campaigns such as the Small Business 100, I will continue to do all I can to champion the visitor industry in Beverley and Holderness.”