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Fury at ‘too many festivals’ claim

Reuben and Romilly Oliver from Tweedmouth try out the donkeys at Spittal Seaside Festival

Reuben and Romilly Oliver from Tweedmouth try out the donkeys at Spittal Seaside Festival

A former Mayor of Berwick has been criticised for claiming there are too many festivals in the town.

Councillor John Robertson made the statement at Berwick Town Council’s annual meeting in the town hall.

He said: “There are too many festivals. There must be six to eight already .”

He acknowledged the success of events such as the food and drink and film and media festivals but felt that because of the limited resources for funding and organising them it would be better to focus on a select few.

“Most towns in this country concentrate on putting on two or three major events at most and make sure they promote them in a big way,” he argued.

However, his comments were condemned by Brian Martin, who organises music for many of Berwick’s events.

“We should be putting on more events, not fewer,” he said. “There should be an event per week during the summer.

“You have to remember that we’re a tourism town and depend heavily on that.

“You can’t just show people the high street, especially given what it looks like at the moment. You have to give them something to do, 26 weeks of the year.

“The festivals we have already got do a fine job of doing that, whether it’s the food festival which attracted 7,000 people last year or the seaside festival at Spittal which brought in 5,000.

“Each and every one of those visitors brought in money to the local economy which would otherwise have been lost.”

Other current events on the calendar include the Frontier music festival, walking festival and the inaugural Berwick Festival Opera in July.

 

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