A celebration of the best food and drink in the South West will take place at Bath’s Milsom Quarter this weekend with support from high streets recovery funding.
The Great Bath Feast is a free festival running from September 24 to 26 comprising of a buzzing market on Milsom Street and New Bond Street, with chef demos, pop-ups and a food and drink trail.
There will also be taster plates and signature dishes from the best chefs in the South West at the chef demo stage, the Artisan Market, Talk and Taste workshops, book signings and fringe events.
The event is being part funded by the Welcome Back Fund, administered by Bath & North East Somerset Council, and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love Our High Streets funding.
Also running on Sunday (September 26) is Abbey Quarter Market, a monthly event for independent traders in this car-free part of the city. The Market has also been allocated funding from Welcome Back to run a pilot Halloween weekend market in October.
Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “We are keen to support a safe return to high streets in the short term and ongoing support as High Streets recover from the pandemic, which is why we have allocated the Welcome Back funding to these events. It will help promote a safe environment for visitors and attract more footfall to the city.”
West of England Mayor Dan Norris said: “The Great Bath Feast looks like it will be serving up a fantastic recipe to encourage people back into Bath city centre safely to enjoy some of the tasty food on offer.”
Lee Bater, the Great Bath Feast’s Festival Director, said: “Our festival weekend will bring all of Bath’s finest chefs, restaurants and producers together in one huge celebration centred around the Milsom Quarter. We’re very grateful to the council for the funding we have received, which has helped to make this event possible. Bath has such a lot to offer, now is the time to support our local businesses and enjoy ourselves at the same time.”
Catherine Rapley, Owner and Founder of Abbey Quarter and Bath Artisan Markets, said: "The last 18 months have been such a struggle for events like Abbey Quarter Market, so I'm delighted that the council has been able to offer support through the Welcome Back Fund, especially because we represent makers and businesses local to Bath. We know the value of markets when it comes to animating the streets and stimulating the local economy, but without being able to make income during coronavirus, getting started again was a challenge. That's why the Welcome Back Fund has proved invaluable, especially in supporting us to print promotional flags, book musicians and trial a Halloween Weekend Market on 30th and 31st October."
The Welcome Back Fund is part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is being used to support a number of activities and events in the area.
The funding from the West of England Combined Authority’s Love Our High Streets programme is part of a wider High Streets Renewal project for Bath city centre, which in part aims to support the Milsom Quarter with improvements to the high street and a programme of animation and events to increase footfall and support local businesses.
For more information on Abbey Quarter Market visit www.bathartisanmarket.com. The market will pilot an additional day in October to create the Halloween Weekend Market on October 30 and 31 from 10am to 4pm each day. The market will have around 40 stalls of independent traders based in the streets around Bath Abbey and Abbey Green, with Halloween-themed stalls.