Businesses backing the boost arts festival will bring

Ed Oxley and Brant Richards show their locally manufactured trousers  - the festival theme, based around the town's history -  is Trouser Town  - that are now being sold worldwide.Picture: Craig Shaw/blu planet photography

Ed Oxley and Brant Richards show their locally manufactured trousers - the festival theme, based around the town's history - is Trouser Town - that are now being sold worldwide.Picture: Craig Shaw/blu planet photography

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Hebden Bridge businesses have backed a Festival Fandango to boost trade this summer as they recover from the Boxing Day flood.

The businesses were bought together by Hebden Bridge Arts Festival for their annual local business event - sponsored by local brewery Bridestones - to talk about how their week long programme this summer could help bring much needed custom into the town.

She proposed that there should be a Festival Fandango running in June and July that could cover all the town’s big summer events and that idea was unanimously supported by the businesses.

The forum was attended by representatives from Heart Gallery, Ribbon Circus, Element, Dynamite, The Egg Factory, Hebtroco, Angeldale Guesthouse, Hat Therapy, Crafts Afloat, Organic House, Drink!, Hebden Bridge Town Hall, the Piece Hall and Milk Bar

The festival’ s Artistic Director Helen Meller introduced their new chair Richard Green, and revealed that there will be two all day Street Sundae events during their second weekend, which was welcomed by the business owners who see the increased football from the free events featuring some of the nation’s best outdoor performers.

Helen Meller said: “The festival has always had brilliant support from the local business community, but this year it was our turn to step up to see how we help them and the town recover from Boxing Day.”

“There was a great turn out from local businesses that really got behind our plans to bring people back into town to enjoy the week long programme and spend money with them.”

Helen Baron is the co-owner of Ribbon Circus and her business was one those forced to close after the floodwater smashed its way down Market Street. Thanks to the generosity of her customers who have helped them renovate their premises they have now reopened, but Helen knows the boost the festival’s footfall has given the town’s traders over the last 21 years.

Helen Baron said: “I think the Arts Festival brings people into the town that don’t normally come. In a bigger sense the festival makes the town vibrant, exciting and an important place to come to because it has been going for so long, and is nationally recognised with so many great artists coming.

“This year we all need a bit of a shot in the arm, and I’m really looking forward to just being entertained.”

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival are also holding an open meeting for supporters and anyone interested in finding out more about the festival at the Town Hall on Thursday 17 March from 7pm. Festival programme launch 6 May. Anyone interested in taking an ad in the programme contact helen@hbaf.co.uk