In pictures: First eat:Christmas is a roaring success despite last minute venue change

Carol of Flapjackeryeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong

Carol of Flapjackeryeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

The inaugural eat:Christmas food festival refused to be blown away by Storm Deirdre.

Chef Collin (soon to eb on Dragons Den) of India in a Jareat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereig

Chef Collin (soon to eb on Dragons Den) of India in a Jareat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

The festive event saw food and drink producers aplenty selling their wares to thousands of passers-by on Saturday.

The festival, which was due to be held in Weston’s Italian Gardens, was moved inside two unused units in the Sovereign Shopping Centre and the food court.

Organiser Bev Milner Simonds said: “On a day when pretty much every other outdoor event was cancelled in the South West we showed through careful planning and teamwork a safe, welcoming festival can still be delivered.

“Our producers and production partners reacted very positively – we work with micro and small businesses and for many this was their last opportunity for sales before Christmas and a cancellation would have meant wasted stock and lost revenue.”

Mei and Kenn of Mels Homemade Artisan Sauceseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre afte

Mei and Kenn of Mels Homemade Artisan Sauceseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant


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Co-organiser Sarah Milner Simonds said: “Eat:Christmas was a resounding success for all those who took part.

“Our local food and drink producers had great sales, the other tenants in the shopping centre were busier and there wasn’t a car parking space to be had anywhere in Weston.

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“It was brilliant to work in partnership with the Sovereign Shopping Centre and North Somerset Council to bring the event indoors due to Storm Deirdre.”

North Somerset Council saw 27,000 people visit the shopping centre, receiving the statistics from Springboard.

The Mayor and Lady Mayoress pop ineat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a foreca

The Mayor and Lady Mayoress pop ineat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

North Somerset Council purchased the Sovereign Centre, as part of its commercial investment strategy.

The council expects to generate £1m a year from the site, which will be put back into vital local services.

The Sovereign Centre is part of the Weston Town Centre Regeneration Programme which is delivering improvements to key sites within the town and encouraging inward investment.

Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council, said: “Pop-up shops are not unusual in a shopping centre. Food festivals moving into shopping centres with just 36 hours’ notice are.

Kate of CoCo and Nedeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong

Kate of CoCo and Nedeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

“This event is incredibly popular, and I Am not surprised the footfall numbers reflect this.

“Owning the shopping centre allows us to be flexible and move with the needs of the community, turning the centre into a modern, multi-use space with retail at its heart.”

Kate of CoCo and Nedeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong

Kate of CoCo and Nedeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Becca from Crumpetseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong w

Becca from Crumpetseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Becca from Crumpetseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong w

Becca from Crumpetseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Janet of Wyfe of Bath Cheeseeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for

Janet of Wyfe of Bath Cheeseeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Gemma of Dark Matterseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong

Gemma of Dark Matterseat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Wizz with her puddings of Plum Duff and Stuffeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre aft

Wizz with her puddings of Plum Duff and Stuffeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Father and daughter Robert and Molly of Robert Hawkereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Ce

Father and daughter Robert and Molly of Robert Hawkereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Wizz with her puddings of Plum Duff and Stuffeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre aft

Wizz with her puddings of Plum Duff and Stuffeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18

eat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Scott of The Unusual Pork Pieeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast fo

Scott of The Unusual Pork Pieeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Sally of Hills Bakeryeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong

Sally of Hills Bakeryeat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Kim and Tom of Wise Bartendereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast fo

Kim and Tom of Wise Bartendereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Kim and Tom of Wise Bartendereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast fo

Kim and Tom of Wise Bartendereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Toby of Harrys Cidereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong

Toby of Harrys Cidereat:Christmas W-s-M moved into the Sovereign Centre after a forecast for strong winds.15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

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