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:
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
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
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
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.