Businesses get together to help shape programme

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Hebden Bridge Arts Festival has called on the talents of the local business community to help shape their 2015 programme.

The festival team brought together the traders at Organic House café to talk about their latest ‘Hebden Means Business’ sponsorship packages and to ask them how next year’s events can boost the local economy, writes Paul Clarke.

The event was a thank you to the businesses that supported the festival including Mountain Wild, Little Valley Brewery, Hebden Bridge Physic Centre, Ruby Shoesday, Circle of Friends, Crafts Afloat, Squeeze, Café Solo, Hebden Hostel, Coffee Cali, Not The Full Shilling, Spirals, Print Bureau, David Fletcher, Calrec, North of Watford, Rim Nam Thai.

Representatives from Dynamite, Ribbon Circus, Element, the Book Case, Heart Gallery, Thomson Reuters, Valli Opticians, the Town Hall, Zeitgeist, Harold Crabtree, Cresswells Accountants,Organic House and Kreative Bomb also took part in an lively question and answer session.

The entrepreneurs gave board members some ideas about how they could support the festival’s two main themes for 2015 – ‘The Hills Are Alive’ focusing on outdoor artistic commissions and ‘Trouser Town’ which will bring to life the town’s rich industrial heritage.

Element owner Caroline Kindy said : “As a local business we really value the impact that the Arts Festival has on our town and the benefits it brings to the business community. The festival also helps to put Hebden Bridge on the regional and national map benefiting everyone who lives, works and trades here.”

The businesses also enjoyed a premiere of a new short film celebrating this year’s street festivals which attracted performers from across Europe working alongside local talent.

Festival Artistic Director Helen Meller said: “This year a record number of businesses supported the festival, which made a significant difference to role the Festival plays in the town, and we would foolish not to take the chance to pick the brains of our business community as we start planning for 2015.

“The feedback we got was very encouraging that our events, like two weekends of free street performances bringing visitors into town, do make a huge difference to our town’s economy, and the ideas we gathered can only strengthen the already strong bonds between the business community and the festival.”