Businesses urged to back town Festivals

The crowds packed into Horncastle for last year's SO Festival
The crowds packed into Horncastle for last year's SO Festival

Businesses in Horncastle have been urged to support what promises to be a bonanza weekend at the end of this month.

Saturday June 28 will see Horncastle launch the 2014 SO Festival. Just hours later - the town will stage its popular Summer Festival.

The two events are expected to bring thousands of visitors packing into town.

Now, town councillors are hoping Horncastle’s businesses will throw open their doors.

Town councillor and deputy mayor Angela Birchall is asking shops to show their support.

She said: “The SO Festival was a big success last year and this year will be even better.

“Unfortunately, some shop owners missed out last year because they did not open.

“They could have made a fortune.

“The fish and chip shop in the Market Place sold out of everything and the owners of The Stables were delighted.

“It’s a huge opportunity for businesses.”

Coun Birchall’s message comes after hefty criticism from some businesses owners after arrangements for the finale of the Wolds Walking Festival earlier this month.

Former town councillor and business owner Richard Barker accused organisers of “hijacking” the event by effectively by-passing the town centre and encouraging walkers to Stanhope Hall.

Mr Barker, speaking at a town council meeting last week, said businesses had been encouraged to open but it had been a waste of time.

He was backed by other shop owners who said all signs for the event directed visitors away from the town centre.

Councillors said the walking festival was a success and pointed out it was the first time the event had been held in Horncastle.

Town Mayor, Coun Sandra Campbell-Wardman said: “We will be having a word with the organisers but we do take on board your comments. There are lessons to be learned.”