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Company behind Skipton food and drink festival ceases trading

The company which runs The Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival at Funkirk Farm in Carleton each summer is to enter liquidation, meaning this July's event looks unlikely to go ahead.

The festival, which normally attracts more than 30,000 visitors was due to take place from 19th to 21st July this year - with chefs including James Martin and Si King from the Hairy Bikers on the line-up. The 2024 event had promised to "up the tempo" by adding headline music performances from artists including Chesney Hawkes, Blue, Heather Small, The Real Thing and DJ Gok Wan.

Last year's event made a loss after being seriously affected by flooding and with ticket sales behind where they should have been with 2 months to go, the company directors of Events By B3 Ltd - festival founders Rachael and Andy Higgins - have taken the decision to cease trading.

Insolvency firm Azets has been appointed to manage the Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and are urging interested parties to get in touch in order to secure the future of the festival.

The Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival was created in 2015 and has expanded rapidly - attracting more than 30,000 visitors, 200 exhibitors and a selection of bands, street food, pop-up restaurants, workshops, food tasting and masterclasses from food and drink celebrities.

A statement published on the event's website said there had been "unforeseen costs" after last year's heavy rain which resulted in the festival being loss-making. The statement continues: "This had a major impact on cash flow in the Company in the latter part of 2023 which continued into 2024 and with ticket revenue being behind where it should be at this time of year the difficult decision has been taken by the directors to cease trading."

Proposed Joint Liquidator Jonathan Amor, Head of Restructuring for Azets in Yorkshire said:

“The Yorkshire Food and Drink Festival is the largest event of its kind in the UK and regarded for the contribution it makes to the local economy. Unfortunately, the business has been suffering from unsustainable financial problems and the directors decided that it would be in the best interests for all creditors for the Company to cease trading and be placed into liquidation.

“The Festival has now ceased trading and steps will be taken to market the assets for sale including the brand, intellectual property, digital platform, data and essential infrastructure such as marquees, tents and staging. We ask that interested parties contact the Leeds office of Azets as soon as possible.”

Unless an interested party comes forward to resurrect the Festival, it will not take place this July.

People who have bought tickets already are being told to check with their credit or debit card providers to see if they can claim a refund by making a chargeback request on their purchase.

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