A look back at ‘Made in north somerset’

North Somerset Council’s Economic Development Service has hailed the recent ‘Made in north somerset’ event a success. Here, it tells The North Somerset Business Leader why.

Now in its second year the 2012 ‘Made in north somerset’ festival brought together 33 events and involved 62 food, drink, art and craft businesses across North Somerset over three weeks.

This year staff from the Economic Development Service worked in partnership with North Somerset Arts who took responsibility for the launch event – a ‘Showcase Exhibition’ at Sidcot Arts Centre displaying some of the very best art from across the area.

The festival, which is designed to raise the profile of North Somerset and highlight the quality of independent local producers in the area, saw a substantial rise in visitor numbers compared to last year.

These events, which took place on business premises, drew visitors from across the region:

• Chew Moo, reported visits from over 700 people to their dairy farm and new ice cream business in Dundry;
• 500 enjoyed over 1500 pints of complimentary beer and cider at Butcombe’s Open Day in Wrington;
• Over 600 were guided around the dairy at Lye Cross Farm, Redhill to see how cheese is made and graded; and
• Hundreds were attracted to organic farmers, The Story Group in Wrington and to Clevedon Craft Centre open days.

Smaller businesses similarly held events but these were more intimate due to the size of premises.

All of the events enabled people to understand and find out more about the people behind the business through guided tours, demonstrations, tastings, workshops and farm walks.

The event attracted both local and regional media coverage and featured in 43 publications and event listings.

Whilst the annual festival is an important showcase for these producers it was also recognised that many smaller businesses can find their work quite isolating.

As a result, quarterly networking evenings have been established for any local food, drink art and craft producer. Four evening meetings have been held over the last year with over 40 businesses attending each.

For further information and to participate next year, please contact Mandie Berry on 01934 426341, mandie.berry@n-somerset.gov.uk or by visiting www.innorthsomerset.co.uk/madein