Horncastle misses out on festival

Town councillor and coffee shop owner Jonathan Ferrari  who is unhappy with the allocation of events
Town councillor and coffee shop owner Jonathan Ferrari who is unhappy with the allocation of events

A town councillor and businessman has hit out after claiming Horncastle was effectively snubbed by organisers of a prestigious district-wide festival.

The Wolds Words Festival launched last week and was organised by Magna Vitae - a ‘partner’ of East Lindsey District Council.

Town councillor Jonathan Ferrari hit out after claiming none of the 52 events will take place in Horncastle.

Coun Ferrari, who owns a coffee shop in Horncastle, said staging events would have brought much-needed business to the town.

Speaking at a recent council meeting, Coun Ferrari said: “We have a lovely town which is marketed as the Gateway to the Wolds.

“We have a district-wide event - promoted by the district council - but nothing in Horncastle.”

Coun Ferrari went on to say that smaller towns - and even some villages - would be staging events.

He added: “I’ve looked at the list and counted 40 of the events are in Louth, eight in Spilsby and none in Horncastle.

“It (the festival) would have helped put Horncastle on the map.

“A lot of the events involve children. They would have brought in visitors and generated revenue for the town.

“I’m sure we have plenty of venues ideally suited to staging things.

“The fact we’ve got nothing is very disappointing. Once again, Horncastle has been overlooked and people have every right to ask why.”

Coun Ferrari’s claims were rebutted by ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland.

He said he was sure organisers had not overlooked Horncastle and stressed district-wide events were regularly held in the town - including the popular SO Festival.

Coun Leyland said: “I know how popular events like the SO Festival are and the council is very grateful to the support we get from Horncastle.

“I was at the SO Festival in the town this year and the number of people attending was amazing. I can understand the frustration regarding the Words Festival but I’m sure there is an explanation.”

The Words Festival is promoted as a ‘cultural fix’ for literature, performance, local history and crafts.

Events include courses to help develop writing skills, craft workshops and a comedy night.