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Posts Tagged ‘Cardigan River & Food Festival’

Food Festival Funding

20 Jul

I’ve totally lost count of the number of emails I’ve sent to the press office asking for a list of food festivals that wag have funded for 2016. It has got more and more time consuming over the years to get this information from wag food. But why you might ask, as I obviously do? Well I haven’t a clue, it’s something I struggle to understand. Wag food have an obligation to provide this information as they are spending public money, but they have no obligation at all to be helpful and professional about doing so. Obviously I can only relate my experience, but I can say that it is annoying and disappointing.

Apparently this year the most festivals can ask for – and sometimes get – a maximum of £5k from this budget. But now I understand that festivals can ‘officially’ apply for funding from other wag budgets. Something which in the past wag food has said never happened, as festivals could only go for one source of government funding. Regular readers will recall my trying to find out which festivals got funding from the Major Events Unit, more information which was touch to getand ended up with my having to do a Freedom Of Information question. Festivals can now apply for funding in full of for ‘selected’ areas such as waste management.

The first batch of festivals being funded as of 20th June wag are:

Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival, Cowbridge (29/30 May)

Newcastle Emlyn Food Festival, Newcastle Emlyn (11 June)

Hay Summer Food Festival, Hay-on-Wye (1 July)

Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival, Aberaeron (3 July)

Cardigan River & Food Festival, Cardigan (6 August)

Narberth Food Festival, Narberth (23-25 September)

Llangollen Food Festival, Llangollen (15/16 October)

Hay Winter Food Festival, Hay-on-Wye (26 November)

Christmas Food & Drink Fair, Abergavenny (11 December)

This is the first funding tranche as the official closing date for festival funding is 14th July. Festivals should then know two weeks later, around the 28th if they have been successful or not. As to when I’ll get details of this second tranche, I wouldn’t even hazard a guess.

Each year I say things can’t get worse getting information from wag food, but I’m constantly proved wrong, so thanks wag for a lack of communication, yes even to the press. All I want to know is which festivals wag food are funding, how much they are getting, which festivals have applied and not been successful. I like to know this information and I say early because we often put information on welshcountry.co.uk and welshfoodbites.co.uk. As a company we always also send this food festival information to all our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers, firstly because wag food don’t do so and secondly because our producers are interested to know who gets what, which is fair enough as it’s our money. So I get this list last week of nine festivals that have been funded and four of them have already been and gone!

Food festival funding was a question I got asked about on Monday at the RWAS, but I could only relay the info. I’d got however did suggest producers could ask wag food staff. Of course I was being silly as it seems like me our producers have little idea who wag food staff are.

Wag food must have their reasons for changing the food festival funding again, but they are reasons they are not sharing, purely because they don’t have too, rather than no-one would be interested. But to only get the first list of festivals mid July is not a great deal of use. Yes of course it makes me cross when Welsh Country magazine set out its stall – sorry poor pun – to promote Welsh food and drink. I don’t know which festivals applied and got rejected. I still don’t know how much the likes of Abergavenny, Cardiff and Conwy festivals have been funded this year either. Perhaps wag food think I haven’t a right to know this information, but if they don’t tell me then I’ll have to send through another Freedom Of Information question. But why should this be necessary?

I was further insulted by wag food last week when they didn’t even send me the press release relating to food festival funding, although it was sent to other Welsh media! This is despite their promise that Welsh Country magazine would receive all food and drink press releases. Welsh Country magazine, the pan Wales magazine that has supported/promoted Welsh food and drink for over a decade is left off wag food’s press mailing list, who would believe that?

Do you think I should take this latest insult personally………………….?

 
 

Food Festival – Approval Of First Applications

06 May

I asked the Welsh Press Office again yesterday for the first list of food festival funding and have been told – again- that I’ll get a Press Release when they issue one. But as I keep explaining, it’s the facts and figures I’m interested in, much more than Welsh Assembly spin in a press release.
So follows is the first list I’ve received:
Tier 1
Approved
Caerphilly Food Festival 09 May £5,000
Wrexham Food & Drink Festival 16-17 May £5,000
Welsh Perry & Cider Festival 22-25 May £5,000
Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival 24-25 May £5,000
Hay Summer Food Festival 27 June £1,701
Cardigan River & Food Festival 08 August £4,995
Menai Seafood Festival 29 August £4,634
Narberth Food Festival 25-27 September £5,000
Mumbles Oyster & Seafood 02-04 Oct £5,000
Newport Food Festival 03 October £5,000
Llangollen Food Festival 17-18 Oct £5,000
Hay Winter Food Festival 27 November £1,701
Portmerion Food Festival 5-6 December £5,000
Abergavenny Xmas Food Festival 13 December £5,000
Tier 2
Approved
Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival 05 July £9,335

All I can say at this stage is that if anyone knows how to make one of their own systems more complicated, it has to be wag and wag food. Welsh food and drink is supposed to be high on wag’s agenda but if that’s the case why is this system now so comlicated? I’m interested in knowing how much these festivals applied for but as I’ve not been able to get the facts and figures I require, I’ve sent in a Freedom Of Information question. My response is due 20th May and after that the reply will be posted on welshfoodbites. I do though wonder if getting £1,701 in funding is worth all the paperwork and box ticking wag food require, but seemingly it is for some festivals.

 
 

Food Festival Funding 2014

16 May

Funded food festival list from wag.

20th April Broneirion Food Fair, Llandinam

£1,889

26th April Gorseinon-Swansea Food Festival

£7,500

10th May Caerphilly Food Festival

£8,264

17-18th May Wrexham Food Festival Guild Hall

£8,000

23-26th May Welsh Perry & Cider Festival

£6,271

14th June Gwyl Fwyd Castell Newydd Emlyn Centre

£3,938

28th June Hay Summer Food Festival

£2,117

11-13th July Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival

£10,000

13th July Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival

£9,560

26th July Lampeter Food Festival Lampeter

£6,653

2-3rd August Big Welsh Bite Rhondda

£8,079

16th August Cardigan River & Food Festival

£6,617

6-7th Sept Newtown Food & Drink Festival

£4,900

6-7th Sept St Fagans Food Festival

£9,300

20-21st Sept Abergavenny Food Festival

£10,000

20-21st Sept Mold Food Festival

£9,000

26-27th Sept Feastival Bridgend

£5,500

28-28th Sept Narberth Food Festival Narberth

£8,730

3-4th Oct Neath Food & Drink Festival

£9,952

4th Oct Brecon Beacons Food Festival

£3,265

4th Oct Newport Food Festival

£6,289

11-12th Oct The Anglesey Oyster & Welsh Produce Festival

£2,941

18-19th Oct Llangollen Food Festival

£5,000

23-27th Oct Mumbles Oyster Festival

£5,000

25-26th Oct Gwledd Conwy Feast

£10,000

29th Nov Hay Winter Food Festival

£1,746

5th – 7th Dec Gwyl Fwyd a Chrefft Portmeirion

£6,300

14th Dec Abergavenny Christmas Food & Drink Fair

£7,500

Wag this year have only funded 28 festivals and as you’ll have already read on a previous post, funding has been cut – again. But never mind the Minister, Alun Davies,  is still saying or spinning, he’s for Welsh food and drink – well that’s good to hear but I’ve yet to believe it.

I’m not sure how much paperwork is entailed when a festival has been finished for the organiser and the committee, but as this is for wag food to tick more European boxes then it will be a fair amount, that’s for sure. But if I’d only been offered £1,899 or £1,746 I’d be so tempted to look for funding and support from elsewhere, bearing in mind wag food insists on recycling, and everything  bi-lingual, which of course doubles print costs. and so it goes on. Food festival organisers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, but what in my mind is most hurtful is that there’s really no genuine support for them, bearing in mind that many of these super people are volunteers.

I expected, as in previous years, that I’d be sent from wag food a full list of food festivals, including the dates, the amount offered and also the amount asked for. Well, as you are aware wag food cannot communicate to me by email or telephone, but this year it has taken many, many emails to get as much information as is posted above. The missing link is how much festivals asked for and if any festivals applied and were turned down. But to get that info I’ve had to do yet another Freedom Of Information question and to wait for 20 days for a response. Now who said things were improving in wag food under the new regime? Oh yes, I remember, it was a member of the wag food team…………………………….what a surprise ………………………………………

 

 
 

Better Late Than Never – Wag’s Food Festival Funding For 2013

25 Apr

This should be a popular post, as I have today finally received the funding list from wag food. It would make me even angrier with wag food, if that were possible, if I could be bothered to count the number of emails, calls made and the time I’ve wasted trying to get this list. Oh to be on the same page as wag food and be working together, but sorry, I’m dreaming again………….!

I’m pleased that so many of you agree that we should have these details at the end of the year and not have to wait until April before even the organisers are told, but we shouldn’t hold our breath on that one. I feel so sorry for some of these organisers who now have to hold urgent committee meetings to see if they are actually able to go forward with their festivals, or if for various reasons such as lateness of funding offer, or maybe having a lower offer made, that they might now re-consider holding their festival. For those festivals running early in the year in particular, this has been nothing short of a stressful nightmare and a very unnecessary one. Plus on a personal level we’ve lost advertising from food festivals as they were awaiting wag’s decision.

In the past I’ve spent many years doing PR, public relations, albeit in the private sector. So I find it hard to envisage the scenario of the Minister finally rubber stamping this list, the news eventually going out to all the organisers on 9th April and the media being ignored until  25th April, despite my chasing again and again for it. If in my PR role I’d acted so slowly, inefficiently and unprofessionally, I simply wouldn’t have kept my job and neither would I have deserved to. In the private sector I was judged on performance and rightly so. Although I keep trying and failing by-and-large, to communicate with the pubic sector, and there can be no dispute that their views and attitudes are sadly totally different than in the real world that the rest of us have to work in.

I was also told by a good source, that the finalisation of the listing was delayed whilst a festival lobbied the Minister, seriously unhappy that  funding was this year being restricted to £10k. Sorry, but I can’t justify wasting more time trying to get that ‘story’ confirmed or denied, so I can only class it as a very interesting rumour, but I must confess it really did make me chuckle. Even without knowing the final outcome, I did wonder if the Minister, or his team then directed this festival to other sources of funding so that they don’t, in effect ‘lose out’. I have submitted an Freedom Of Information question through on this and will let you know the outcome. I’ve also asked for a full list of all festivals that did apply for funding and how much they asked for as this will give us a clearer picture of this budget.

New funding to help food and drink festivals to flourish

The Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies has announced over £210,000 to support food festivals and strengthen Wales’ reputation as a foodie nation. The funding, which will help showcase the best of Welsh food and drink to people living in and visiting Wales, will be allocated to 32 separate food festivals scheduled to take place across Wales in 2013 . The support is aimed at raising awareness of the high quality of food and drink on offer in Wales in order to build on Wales’ growing food culture.

Alun Davies said: “Good quality, distinctive food is a central part of our culture here in Wales. I am determined to build on that culture in order to enable our food and drinks industries to strengthen and thrive. We know that food festivals continue to be a big draw for people living in and visiting Wales and are an excellent way of showcasing the very best of Welsh produce. They also allow producers to strengthen their own business capacity which in turn contributes to a strengthened rural economy. I am therefore pleased to announce more than £210,000 to support 32 separate festivals across Wales . During 2013 the festivals will collectively receive £211,164.54 in assistance, to strengthen Wales’ reputation as a producer of high quality and diverse food and drink.

The food festivals receiving funding are:

North

Wrexham Food Festival 18 – 19 May 2013 £7,500.00

Llyn Land & Seafood Festival 25 – 26 May 2013 £5,440.00

Mold Food Festival 21 – 22 September 2013 £9,000.00

Anglesey Oyster & Welsh Produce Festival 12 – 13 October 2013 £1,593.40

Llangollen Food Festival 19 – 20 October 2013 £5,000.00

Gwledd Conwy Feast 26 – 27 October 2013 £10,000.00

Gwyl Fwyd a Chrefft Portmeirion 7 -8 December 2013 £5,850.00

South West

Gorseinon-Swansea Food Festival 27 April 2013 £7,825.00

Really Wild Festival 25-26 May 2013 £6,840.00

Gwyl Fwyd Castell Newydd Emlyn 15 June 2013 £2,955.50

Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival 22 – 30 June 2013 £10,000.00

Margam Market Day 07 July 2013 £5,458.50

Narberth Food Festival 27 – 29 September 2013 £8,286.00

Neath Food and Drink Festival 4 – 5 October 2013 £8,875.00

Mumbles Oyster Festival 17 – 20 October 2013 £4,350.00

West Wales Food Fayre Nov / Dec TBC £10,000.00

South East

Caerphilly Food Festival 04 May 2013 £7,431.50

Welsh Perry & Cider Festival 24 – 27 May 2013 £3,855.60

Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival 12 – 14 July 2013 £10,000.00

St Fagans Food Festival 7 – 8 September 2013 £7,000.00

Abergavenny Food Festival 21 – 22 September 2013 £10,000.00

Feastival 27 – 28 September 2013 £9,000.00

Newport Food Festival 05 October 2013 £7,590.00

Abergavenny Christmas Food & Drink Fair 08 December 2013 £8,500.00

Mid

Hay Summer Food Festival 29 June 2013 £1,775.00

Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival 07 July 2013 £9,000.00

Lampeter Food Festival 27 July 2013 £7,000.00

Cardigan River & Food Festival 10 – 11 August 2013 £10,000.00

Aberystwyth Food & Drink Festival 21 September 2013 £3,613.04

Newtown Food Festival 21 – 22 September 2013 £3,580.00

Brecon Beacons Food Festival 05 October 2013 £2,625.00

Hay Winter Food Festival 30 November 2013 £1,221.00

My team is checking out this list of dates and note that Newtown will run on 7th & 8th September not 21/22nd as wag state.

Just for interest last year 2012, food festivals were allocated £339,280 for 33 festivals. Despite the Minister saying how important Welsh food is to the economy, including tourism, this is a massive chop in this budget down to £210k.

 

 

 
 

FOI 5995 – Welsh Food Festival Funding – At Last

17 May

Was it worth waiting for? I’ll await your views!!!!

It’s taken a lot of time and a great deal of effort to get this list and I had to resort to asking for it under Freedom Of Information Act, so I hope that you appreciate the effort involved!!!! I’m not sure that you’ll agree with Wag’s and Visit Wales’ decisions, but sure you will let me know by posting your comments or email me with your views.

My initial concern was that two events that run in early March Saundersfoot and a Swansea festival and will run again 2013 but still count as in this year’s budget have not been shown. So I’m asking if this is an error or if these events are running again next year. My other surprise is that Fish Week now appears in this budget taking out a whacking £31, 671. I thought that this event was funded under RDP for 2007-13 and last year received grant funding of £55,636, plus £30,711 from Pembrokeshire County Council, in 2010 grant funding was £77,157. I have also asked why Fish Week is now being taken from the festival budget.

In case you wish to know, 52 food festivals applied for the Food Festival Grant Funding Support for 2012/13  and to save you totting up, I’ll tell you that only 33 festivals were lucky enough to get funding, with some as always, appearing luckier than others. I’m interested to know if any of the food festivals got the amount of money they applied for. I’d also like to know how those in power wokred out the amounts they were going to offer each festival, but even I can’t be bothered to pursue that one!!!

I do wonder about the wisdom, or lack of wisdom, in that Newport and Neath have each been given £8k – £9k but they are  running on the same weekend, as it Brecon, though Brecon will obviously draw from Powys for producers. But do we really have enough quality producers to put on three good festivals?  Time will tell, but I do hope these three festivals, maybe more than most put some serious energy into their promotion and marketing. Traders you have been warned, please ask before you pay, because unhappy Best Of Welsh & Border producers I do not need!

Wag’s ‘Big 3’: Abergavenny, Cardiff and Conwy have all had budget reductions from last year, but 10/11 was the final year on a 3 year plan, funded under the Total Supply Chain Efficiency Funding. These all had huge increases from 08/09 – 10/11, for example Conwy went from £25k, to £43k to £41k and now this year gets £33,683.61. What continues to puzzle me is that wag has been sounding off for years that festivals must try to get to be self-funding and these three have the best chance for sponsorship, but they are still well funded as wag has now decreed that they have been awarded ‘international’ status which is an easy way of wag saying: “don’t worry we’ll keep funding you guys”…………………………..
Any further updates will of course be posted.

Name of Date Amount of
Festival Funding
Gorseinon Food   Festival 28-Apr £8,460.00
Riverside Food   Festival 20-May £2,249.00
Caerphilly Food Festival 26-May £9,753.00
Welsh Perry   & Cider Festival 1 – 4 June £5,260.00
Llyn Land & Seafood Festival 2 – 3 June £8,230.00
Gwyl Fwyd Castell Newydd Emlyn 16-Jun £7,133.80
The Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival 23 June – 1 July £31,671.00
Hay Food Festival 30-Jun £2,601.00
Llandysul Food Festival 30-Jun £5,644.00
Margam
Festival – Margam Market Day
01-Jul £9,889.20
Cardiff International Food & Drink 6 – 8 July £25,608.85
Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival, Aberaeron 08-Jul £9,500.00
Eating Green /Cider Palooza Festival 12 – 14 July £5,000.00
Really Wild Food & Countryside Festival 27 – 28 July £11,963.77
Lampeter Food Festival 28-Jul £6,150.00
Carmarthen Food Festival 01-Aug £6,500.00
Cardigan River & Food Festival 11 – 12 August £10,400.00
Welsh Food Festival 1 – 2 September £6,225.00
Aberystwyth Food & Drink Festival 15-Sep £7,418.61
Abergavenny Food Festival 15–16 September £46,800.00
Narberth Food Festival 21–23 September £8,161.40
Mold Food and Drink Festival 22- 23 September £8,025.00
Feastival  (Bridgend) 28- 29 September £9,900.00
Newport Food Festival 5 – 6 October £8,105.97
Neath Food and Drink Festival 5 – 6 October £9,999.00
Brecon Beacons Food Festival 06-Oct £4,480.00
Anglesey Oyster Festival 13 – 14 October £3,098.00
Mumbles Oyster Fair 19 – 21 October £9,500.00
Llangollen Food Festival 20 – 21 October £4,000.00
Gwledd Conwy Feast 25 – 28 October £33,683.61
Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival 27 – 28 October £9,900.00
Hay Winter Food Festival 24-Nov £1,771.00
Abergavenny Christmas Food & Drink 11-Dec £2,200.00

 

Wag’s list has now gone up on welshcountry.co.uk and of course it has been sent around our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers, so at least some of the rumours which have been frantically doing the rounds, will now be quashed.