Last year’s first ever Three Shires Textile festival proved a popular success and delivered a £557,000 bonus to the Cheshire economy.
The festival was held from 4-19 July across Chester, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. More than 60 events, exhibitions and activities attracted an estimated 8,976 non-residents to the region.
Named after a beauty spot in the Peak District where the three counties meet, the event included a variety of exhibitions, talks, tours, textile craft fairs, fabric sales and workshops.
It was inspired and managed by local tourist board Visit Chester & Cheshire in partnership with Macclesfield Borough Council, Congleton Borough Council, South East Cheshire Enterprise, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Visit Peak District.
Cheshire highlights included two high-profile exhibitions held at the Macclesfield Silk Museum and an exhibition of historic May Queen dresses dating back to the 19th Century in Knutsford which all celebrated the rich textile heritage of the region.
Prosperity Portfolio Holder of Cheshire East Cllr Jamie Macrae commented: “This festival was a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the incredibly strong cultural heritage in East Cheshire and promote the textile towns of Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton to a wider audience.”
Cll Macrae adds: “This campaign has not only been a great opportunity to strengthen our existing tourism partnerships with other counties, but has also had an impressive economic impact on the regions amounting to a fantastic £420,000 in direct spend to businesses in the area in just two weeks.”
This success has shown that the Textile Festival has the fabric of a successful tourism event which positively impacts the region, according to the Chief Executive of Visit Chester and Cheshire (VCC), Chris Brown.
He concludes: “With 22,000 people attending the different events and activities across the region, the Three Shires Textile festival has captured the imagination of people and potential visitors to Cheshire. It has shown the creative strengths of our county and delivered significant economic benefits to businesses in Cheshire East and beyond.”
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