Malton in North Yorkshire has emerged as a leading light in the independent culinary sector, and the town lays claim to being Yorkshire’s food capital.
However, with the announcement that a major music festival will be staged in the town this summer, there are also talks under way to bring leading sculpture and art to Malton’s streets.
Tom Naylor-Leyland, whose family owns a large part of Malton under the Fitzwilliam Estate banner, has told The Yorkshire Post that he hopes to attract public realm art to complement the town’s growing independent food and drink businesses.
He said: “We have been trying to make Malton a diverse and attractive place to live over several years now, and we are now well-known for our association with food and drink.
“Of course, the economy and people’s jobs have to be among the most important things, but if where you live has a diverse and culturally rich setting, then that can only be a good thing too.
“Culture and the arts should not be exclusive to the large cities, and there is no reason why a market town like Malton should not be able to offer the same.”
The Meadowfest music festival, which was first held in Malton in 2019, will be staged in the grounds of the Talbot Hotel this summer on July 31. The Lightning Seeds, the band responsible for the Euro 96 anthem, Three Lions, will headline the event, which had to be cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Malton Food Lovers Festival will also return the following month following a hiatus in 2020 during the first lockdown.
The food festival has been shifted from its traditional dates over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, and will instead be staged over three days from August 28 to August 30.
This year’s line-up is still being finalised, but the festival, which launched in 2009, has previously attracted major names in the culinary world including Tom Parker-Bowles, Prue Leith and Valentine Warner, as well as leading Yorkshire chefs such as Andrew Pern, James Mackenzie and James Martin.
Mr Naylor-Leyland also revealed plans are being drawn up to introduce two public artworks later this year on the streets of Malton, although the exact details have yet to be confirmed.
Coun Angela Kirkham-Raine, who represents the Malton ward on Ryedale District Council, told The Yorkshire Post that the market town’s reputation nationally has been transformed in recent years.
Coun Kirkham-Raine, who is a co-founder of Kirkham Henry Performing Arts which is based in Malton, said: “What Tom has been doing is absolutely marvellous, and all the work that is being put in has brought the town back to life.
“People are talking about Malton all over the country - when someone asks where I am from, they always mention the food festival.
“Malton used to be simply a place that was between York and Scarborough, but now it is a town that has its own very distinct identity, which has blossomed in recent years.”
Malton has already seen striking artwork introduced in the town centre in recent years.
A 40ft mural painted on the side of a building on Newgate features the original recipe for Yorkshire puddings.
The mural was completed in 2019, and is a tribute to Hannah Glasse, who published The Art Of Cookery Made Plain and Easy in 1747, which included the phrase, Yorkshire pudding, for the first time.
The success of the independent sector has seen the creation of the Talbot Yard Food Court on Yorkersgate.
Among the traders are the Blue Bird Bakery, master patissier Florian Poirot’s enterprise and Groovy Moo, which specialises in Italian gelato. The food court has had its own retro sign painted on the side of one of the buildings.