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

PUBLISHED: 17:23 18 December 2018

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

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

(C)2016 Jeremy Long / JCLPhotography, all rights reserved

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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