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Taste of the Sea Food Festival pumps £1m into the Cambrian economy

Giant seagulls from the Wonderous Funderstorm Street theater captivated visitors. Photo: Taste Cumbria / Tom Kay

The Cumbrian economy has generated nearly £1 million as a result of the Sea Taste Festival in Maryport.

The event, which took place over the weekend of August 13 and 14, saw an estimated economic impact of £99,6168, more than double that of 2021, boosting the county’s economy by £453,682. Almost £25 is earned for every pound spent on hosting the event, compared to £11 last year.

About 12,000 people attended the festival, an independent study by Kendall-based Red Research said, with 89 percent of those who attended the first Taste of the Sea event in 2021 saying the food and drink this year was better.

The aim of all Taste Cumbria Festivals, organized by Allerdale Borough Council, is to promote this area and encourage visitors to explore the cities, as well as the wider region. Those surveyed at Taste of the Sea were asked if they would do anything other than visit the festival. Eighty-seven percent said they would go for a meal or drink, 48 percent would go shopping — up from 30 percent in 2021 — and 46 percent said they would go sightseeing in general.

In total, 228 surveys were completed, with groups representing 601 adults and 116 children, 99% of those interviewed said they would like to attend another similar event in the future while 99% would recommend the event to others. Eighty-five percent of those interviewed made their trip to Maryport specifically for the tasting festival, up from 65 percent in 2021.

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The Taste of the Sea Festival, which welcomed Maryport Town Council as its main sponsor, included two days of food, drink, movies, laughter and family fun. Attractions included a Producers’ Market on Sinehouse Street, a hot food court, a marquee drinks tent for the festival, live music, and a picnic field below the harbor. This area was also used to promote fish and seafood, along with a market for young entrepreneurs and chef shows as well.

Mike Johnson, Chair of Allerdale Borough Council, said: “This positive economic impact is a fantastic result and is one of the reasons why hosting the Taste Cumbria Festivals is so important to the Council. I look forward to seeing them grow and better.”

“Thank you to this year’s Maryport City Council main sponsor. I would also like to thank producer Taste of the Lakes Premium Food, Grants Oak Smoked salmon specialists, Maryport Business Group, Maryport Round Table, and Vici for using their display trailer, Maryport Harbor Salad on the use of their lands.

There are two more festivals to savor Cumbria this year. The event will return in Cockermouth on September 24 and 25, then the Taste Cumbria Christmas Festival on December 10 and 11.

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