Food and drink festival cooks up record crowds

Nearly 50,000 food-lovers packed into Millennium Square for the Yorkshire Food and Drink Show earlier this month - setting an all-time record for the event.

Leeds Food and Drink Festival, Millennium Square, Leeds..Sisters Laura (left) and Emily Powell, enjoy a glass of Champagne on the Malmaison Stand...SH1001431a...8th June 2014 Picture by Simon Hulme

Footfall figures released today for the 17-day eL eds Food and Drink Festival saw city centre footfall figures increase by 2.7 per cent on last year, bringing more visitors to Leeds than the eight previous food festivals.

Attendance on two days of the three-day festival finale were at an all-time high. In total, almost 46,000 people attended the at Millennium Square, 15,300 of which were on the traditionally quietest day of Friday, while almost 21,500 went along on the Sunday.

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These numbers have never been seen before on those days during the nine years that the event has been running. Despite heavy rain on the Saturday, more than 9,000 attended.

Over 30 events took place across the city during the two week period, including pop up supper club the Pink Shed, World Feast, Handmade in Yorkshire, Kirkstall Deli Market and Veg Out. More than 200 Leeds-based food and drink businesses took part, raising their profile on a regional and national level and benefiting from increased business as a direct result.

Deborah Copeland, Director of Marketing at Leeds and Partners, said: “We’re thrilled to have achieved record numbers for the festival this year, and once again it’s brought a huge boost to the city, increasing footfall and showcasing what we can offer to a national audience. We’ve always been lucky with the weather in the past, so while rain brought overall numbers for the finale weekend down slightly, it certainly didn’t dampen spirits and the atmosphere was fantastic throughout. Feedback from businesses has been excellent and we look forward to building on this year’s successes to ensure that the Leeds Food and Drink Festival continues to grow in 2015 and beyond.”

Paul Smith, Marketing Manager at Trinity, added: “Taking part in the Leeds Food and Drink Festival was a no brainer for Trinity Leeds. The city has such a vibrant and exciting offer and the collaboration between food and drink retailers and the organisers was great to be a part of. It’s important for Leeds to be promoting our dining credentials through such a large-scale festival.”