Category Archives: Pendle Council


THE third annual Nelson Food & Drink Festival is only a few months away and local businesses are keen to capitalise on last year’s success.

Boasting over 30 stalls and 9,000 visitors, last year’s festival was a resounding success. There was a vast array of food and drink stands and celebrity chef Richard Fox performing a wonderful cooking demonstration for the crowds.

This year is gearing up to be even bigger and better with the race to host a stand at the festival becoming increasingly more competitive as each year comes by.

Zahida Shamim, Events Director at Scott Dawson Advertising, who organise the event, said: “We are seeing an increased demand to host a stand at the festival every year and I would encourage anyone who would like a presence at the event to get in there early because the slots are likely to fill up pretty quick. Last year we increased footfall to the festival by a thousand people and this year we intend to go even further. It really is a fantastic place to showcase your business and products to a huge amount of people in the surrounding area, so get involved, the more the merrier.”

The event, to be held on Saturday, September 16, will be funded by Pendle Borough Council and Nelson Town Council, with Gold and Silver sponsorship coming from Pendle Rise Shopping Centre and Oddie’s Bakery respectively.

Mike Williams, Tourism Team Leader of Pendle Borough Council, said: “With the rise of the popularity of food programmes, and the importance of the food sector to the local economy, the event has not only proved a big hit but is a very important event not just to Nelson, but the whole of the Borough. It attracts thousands of visitors, top producers, and celebrity chefs.”

Zafar Ali, Chairman of Nelson Town Council, said: “Me and my colleagues are thrilled to see the Food and Drink Festival coming to Nelson again. Last year’s event was so popular I had residents, young and old, asking whether we could put the event on every month. You only had to look at the queues at the stalls to see how many food and drink enthusiasts there are in Nelson and East Lancashire – it was amazing.

My aim as Chairman of this Town Council is to keep rejuvenating our vibrant and diverse community and my colleagues try their utmost best to support Nelson residents in all walks of life. This event is a testament to that aim where thousands will come out to celebrate food and drink from different cultures.  I’m looking forward to seeing the centre of our town booming and I cannot wait for the final touches of the event to come together.”

Nelson Food & Drink Festival takes place in Nelson town centre from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, September 16. Find full details, including a downloadable brochure with the festival itinerary, at

Keep up to date with news about food stalls and attractions on the Nelson Food Festival Facebook page and follow @nelsonfoodfest on Twitter.

Missed last year’s event? Watch a short video of the 2016 Nelson Food & Drink Festival to whet your appetite for this year’s event.

Flavour-packed festival a sunny success

A sunny September day saw Nelson Food and Drink Festival thronged with thousands of visitors flocking to the town centre on Saturday.

They were rewarded with a full day of foodie fun and the chance to sample a wide range of delicious treats at the fabulous free festival with a real multicultural flavour.

Mayor of Pendle Coun. Nawaz Ahmed, who officially opened the festival at 10am, stayed for the rest of the day, mingling with the crowds, enjoying the entertainment and talking to the stallholders in the Worldwide Food Market.

“I believe there were easily eight to nine thousand people here in Nelson today,” said a delighted Coun. Ahmed.

“I am really pleased to see the town so busy – at one point there were so many people in the food market I could hardly move. This has been a very different kind of event for Nelson and it has really brought the whole community together. I hope to see more events like this in the future.”

Centred on The Shuttle monument, the event began with Nelson town crier Tony Edwards welcoming everyone before handing over to the Mayor to officially open the festival with a ribbon cutting.

With more than 20 stalls selling everything from sausages to samosas and cupcakes to charcoal grilled chicken, the Worldwide Food Market was busy from the off, with stallholders reporting an excellent day’s trading and still busy as the festival drew to a close at 4pm.

Highlights of the day were live cookery demonstrations in the outdoor cookery theatre set up next to The Shuttle and filling its surrounding amphitheatre with people keen to pick up culinary tips from the experts. Central to these was entertaining celebrity chef Richard Fox, whose easygoing, down to earth and amiable style was a real hit with the Nelson crowds.

He performed three of the demonstrations himself and hosted two others given by local restaurant Spice of India and the festivals’ main sponsor, Nelson and Colne College. Its lecturer Mark Taft was joined by John Jones from the award-winning Seafood Pub Company and together they rustled up a full three-course gourmet menu in a fascinating and fast-paced presentation.

After each session the spectators were invited to sample the delicious dishes which had just been created. Richard Fox is also a great campaigner against food waste and was delighted to welcome Pendle’s own chef, writer and ‘food activist’ Gill Watson, who talked about her culinary career and her work locally to cut food waste and help people eat well whatever their budget.

A visual highlight was a colourful and energetic half-hour performance by the Punjabi Roots Dance Academy, whose programme fused traditional Indian dancing and music with modern pop rhythms and had a large crowd of spectators roaring its approval.

Free face painting and henna art were on offer in Nelson marketplace, with the colourful results evident all around the festival. Upstairs in the Pendle Rise shopping centre a ‘Cakelicious’ children’s cake decorating competition was kept busy all day. It was sponsored by another of the festival’s key supporters, Oddies family bakers, which supplied all the plain cupcakes and decorating materials, with students from Nelson and Colne College on hand to help.

Scores of visitors also arrived at the festival in style aboard a classic 1968 Leyland Titan double- decker bus. Supplied by Darwen Transport Trust, it ferried passengers for free, running on two routed from Burnley and Barnoldswick for most of the day.

As the festival drew to a close, chef Richard Fox commented: “What a great day! I’ve had a really friendly welcome from the people of Nelson and Pendle and what wonderful food we’ve seen cooked and on sale here today.

“It’s certainly helped to have such a lovely sunny day, but for me the things I’ll remember are the friendly folk and the fabulous food.”

For more information about the festival, including photos and video of the day’s events, visit its website

Online videos help to promote Nelson businesses

Fifteen local businesses are now promoting themselves through short high-definition videos on a dedicated “Nelson Shops & Events” YouTube channel, with more being added all the time.

The featured businesses range from florists to cycle shops, hardware stores to hairdressers, butchers to bookshops and counselling services to cake bakers. The two things they have in common are their presence in Nelson’s thriving business community and their enthusiasm for embracing social media to showcase what they do.

The Nelson Shops & Events channel has been set up as part of a four-month campaign to promote Nelson town centre and its array of independent shops and businesses. It is spearheaded by Nelson Town Team, which appointed Burnley-based Scott Dawson Advertising to manage the campaign.

Other elements include a co-ordinated social media campaign, promoting Nelson through popular social networking sites Facebook ( and Twitter (

Lara Oddie is vice-chair of Nelson Town Team and owner of one of the local businesses featured on the YouTube channel, Oddie’s family bakers and cake makers.

“Having the video on YouTube is a new way for us to let people know what we do and about the range of goods and services we offer,” said Lara.

“It was very straightforward to make the video, working with Scott Dawson, and good fun too. I’m very pleased with the results.”

The four-month campaign will culminate in a special event, the Nelson Food and Drink Festival, on Saturday September 19th. Featuring a host of local producers and food businesses, alongside a Continental Market and live cookery demonstrations by celebrity chef Richard Fox, the festival also has its own evolving website at

Banners promoting the festival will go up in the town centre for the weeks running up to it and a festival brochure highlighting all the attractions will be distributed to 25,000 local homes.

To view the promotional videos simply search under “Nelson Shops & Events” on YouTube. Other local shops and businesses wanting to get involved in the promotional campaign or the Food Festival can contact Sue Lawson at Scott Dawson on 01282 423846 (email: to discuss the various options.