How culture festival will boost trade

Musicians took part in the Festival of Culture at the weekend, by performing in and around Rugby town centre.
Musicians took part in the Festival of Culture at the weekend, by performing in and around Rugby town centre.

Rugby’s Festival of Culture boosts trade and brings in attracts customers from outside of Rugby, according to organisers.

Figures from last year reveal that well over 7,000 people took advantage of the festivities in 2012, and it led to some businesses having the busiest period of the year. This year’s festival is taking place from tomorrow, June 28, to July 14.

Aftab Gaffar, of Rugby First, which supports the event along with Rugby Borough Council, said: “The festival is in its third year now and each year more businesses get involved as the benefits to them become more and more clear.

“We know that events like the festival’s food fayre is also successful in bringing people from outside Rugby to the town centre. There are longer benefits too, some of the events held during the festival, like Sumersault’s jazz night for example, take place all year round and in the long term are boosted by the publicity the festival creates.”

Jeremy Harper, of Rocco’s Love Coffee, which serves drinks from a mobile stall from outside the Clock Tower, said: “The Festival of Culture is a very positive step for Rugby town centre. For me it’s the food fayre which has made the most difference to trade in previous years.”

He added: “It would be nice to see the festival promoted more outside of Rugby, but these things take time and I’m sure this is something that will happen more and more as the festival gets more established. It’s worth remembering it is only in its third year and it gets more and more successful each year.”

Chris Stanley, one of the organisers who works with Rugby First, added: “As the festival grows and becomes more popular with people in and around Rugby, the economic benefits to the town also increase. Feedback after last year’s event from traders was very positive, with many reporting increased trade.”

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for sustainable environment, said: “Changes in our shopping habits, including people’s preference for internet shopping, mean that we must redefine our town centre. The Festival of Culture is part of our attempt to make Rugby town centre an attractive place that everyone in Rugby is happy to to visit and socialise in. I’m sure this year’s event will build on the success of previous years’, and hope that the weather doesn’t let us down.”