A new Dundee food and drink festival to be held later this year has been given the green-light by councillors.
Proposals for a 2024 event, provisionally named the Dundee Food for Thought Festival, were first unveiled by council chiefs last week.
The event is set to replace the long-running Flower and Food Festival, which was axed by councillors last January due to concerns over its financial viability.
It’s expected the replacement festival will be held in the last weekend in May.
Councillors gave their seal of approval to the plans at a meeting of the Fair Work, Economic Growth and Infrastructure committee on Monday.
However some expressed frustration at the axing of the former Flower and Food Festival.
The event had not been held in person since 2019 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and ran at a loss of more than £50,000 in its final year.
Speaking at the meeting, Liberal Democrat councillor Daniel Coleman said: “As you’ll recall our group view the loss of the long-standing flower and food event at Camperdown Park as quite unfortunate and greater effort should have been made to retain it.
“But we are where we are.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Fraser Macpherson was less enthused over the new festival’s current name.
He said: “I fully accept that the working title Food for Thought is not the final title, and we will all have different views.
“My view is I didn’t think that sounded exactly upbeat if I’m being perfectly honest.
“It sounded more like The Revered I.M Jolly’s Sunday sermon title.”
The Dundee Flower and Food Festival – first held in 1988 – was one of the city’s best-loved events attracting big names including television personalities Paul Hollywood and the Hairy Bikers.
However, figures revealed by council officials last year showed the festival had run at a “considerable loss” in each year of the last three years it was held live.
The new festival will be focused on the city centre, but fringe events will take place across the whole city with the event pencilled in for the last weekend in May.
It’s also expected to cost around £35,000, which will be met from a one-off budget investment.
Council officers insisted the move would help make the festival more accessible.
Head of Planning & Economic Development Gregor Hamilton said: “The thinking behind bringing something into the city centre is because of the benefit that businesses and the accessibility of the city centre brings.
“So for many people getting to Camperdown, if they didn’t have access to a car, could be more challenging.”
Other councillors highlighted the enthusiasm for the city’s latest festival.
SNP councillor Lynne Short added: “It’s whetted the appetites of some of the organisations within the Maryfeild ward who have already been in touch to say they are champing at the bit to get involved.
“As long as we all get behind it and not be too negative about it, I’m sure it can be as cracking as some of the other things we put on.”
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