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Local caterers missing out on festival profits

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Local caterers missing out on festival profits

CATERING companies in Dumfries and Galloway have turned down the chance to be part of the UK’s biggest youth festival, it has been revealed.

Organisers of Youth Beatz, which takes places at Park Farm in Dumfries every summer, have been actively encouraging local food firms to get involved and make a healthy profit, with up to 20,000 attendees at the event each day, writes local democracy reporter Marc MacLean.

However, uptake from local suppliers has been consistently poor, despite the offer of a half price deal from Dumfries and Galloway Council for a food pitch at the site.

An evaluation of the 2022 festival was discussed recently by councillors.

Mark Molloy, the council’s young people service manager, told members: “Every year we put a real focus and commitment to trying engage with local food providers, as well as with other suppliers.

“Unfortunately in Dumfries and Galloway, and it’s common with all events, there is not the number of catering providers that are able to provide food at large events.

“The ones that are able to do it make a decision not to tender for the food pitches. To encourage local businesses, the pitch fee for local vendors is 50 percent less than for any company outwith Dumfries and Galloway.”

Funding for Youth Beatz has been secured until 2025 from Event Scotland, the Scottish Government, and the National Lottery.

All organisations have agreed to stump up a six-figure sum of cash to stage the festival again at Park Farm in Dumfries – if the council provides £179,000 in match funding each year.

Next summer’s event has been pencilled in for July 1 and 2 at Park Farm, but awaits council funding approval.

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