Yesterday I was at the Tideswell Food Festival.
Some UK readers may remember Tideswell, it was one of six villages selected last year for a TV series”Village SOS” which looked at six small rural communities that were trying to change their fortunes and combat the national picture of rural decline. In Tideswell they decided that capitalising on local food and food producers was the solution.
Tideswell is in the heart of the Peak District National Park, which attracts over 26 million visitors each year. Persuading some of that vast number of visitors to spend more time and money in their village looked like a great opportunity. They launched “Taste Tideswell”, a well designed and well written campaign. Effectively they branded the village.
A disused shop was converted into the wonderful Tideswell School of Food. (I am a huge fan – their courses are amazing. )
Now, a year on , the Second Tideswell Food Festival. The village is full of people, selling food, tasting food, talking about food, eating food and most of all buying food in a fantastically convivial atmosphere.
This community appears to have heart and soul, commitment, the ability to work together and to press for a shared vision – combined with professionalism and high quality communication skills. Yesterday at least it that this was a winning combination. A lovely day.