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2010: Wigan’s Food and Drink Odyssey
Wednesday 2nd September, 2009

NEXT year’s annual Wigan Food and Drink Festival is set to be one of the biggest and most eventful culinary journeys yet!

Organiser, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust has joined forces with the hugely popular Wigan CAMRA Beer Festival.

For the first time since its creation in 2007 the Wigan Food and Drink Festival will not take place this October but in March 2010 instead.

The new date means the event can be run in conjunction with the town’s hugely popular beer festival making the food and drink festival one of the largest in Greater Manchester.

Keith Bergman, tourism manager for WLCT and Food and Drink Festival organiser, said: “Wigan CAMRA’s involvement is a fantastic boost. If there was a weakness in previous years it was that it lacked a genuine drink element. More than 8,000 people enjoyed last year’s Food and Drink Festival and this adds a whole new dimension. We’re truly delighted CAMRA are on board.“

This year’s 22nd annual beer festival at Robin Park Sports Centre attracted more than 3,000 visitors to the town.

Wigan’s CAMRA Chairman Ken Worthington said: “This collaboration goes beyond the joining of events. It is about two organisations supporting and promoting the local food and drink sector. It’s a wonderful opportunity to put Wigan on the food and drink map.”

To mark the start of the new partnership Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust has teamed up with Wigan CAMRA to promote their LocAle scheme to the borough's hotels and restaurants.

Ken added: “We’ve drawn up a list of 30 breweries within a 20 mile range in a bid to encourage hotels and restaurants to support the local economy by buying locally and reducing carbon emissions from transport at the same time.

“With the LocAle scheme we aim to prove there’s a wonderful selection of real ales to choose from that you don’t have to travel a million miles to try.”

The LocAle scheme was first launched by Wigan CAMRA in 2008 and currently 10 local pubs are LocAle accredited. The LocAle event will take place at the Whelley Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Vauxhall Road, Wigan on Wednesday 16th September at 5.30pm. Attendance is by invitation only.

Next year’s 3rd Wigan Food and Drink Festival is sponsored by Hitchen Foods and will take place between 4th and 14th March. It is being supported by 20 of the borough’s top restaurants and many local food and drink suppliers.

If you’re a hotelier, restaurateur or are interested in becoming involved in Wigan’s 2010 Food and Drink Festival please email v.bolton@wlct.org or call 01942 825 677.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the LocAle scheme call Ken Worthington on 07732 997284 or email ken.worthington@virgin.net

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