Tuesday 7 August, 2012
Tamworth's TASTE Festival, the highlight of the town's culinary calendar, will help raise funds for local community groups after Tamworth Regional Council agreed to take over the running of the popular event.
The TASTE Committee Tamworth Inc for Council to take up ownership of the TASTE Festival and stage it on behalf of the community.
Tamworth Region Councillors considered a report at the July 24 meeting detailing the committee's request Council 'to adopt the TASTE Festival incorporating TASTE in the Park and The Long Lunch as events through Destination Tamworth'.
'The committee has identified that if the TASTE Festival is to continue to grow it needs a professional management approach while maintaining a link to the food and wine industries,' the report said.
The committee formed in 2009 to develop and stage the TASTE Festival as a fund raising event. The committee had a three-year agreement with Ronald McDonald House as the beneficiary and during the past three years has donated in excess of $20,000.
Any profit generated from the TASTE Festival while it is run by Destination Tamworth will be added to Council's donations vote and the funds allocated to community groups in accordance with Council policy.
Tamworth Mayor Col Murray said since the first TASTE Festival was held in 2010 it has grown considerably thanks to the efforts of the volunteer committee members who share a passion for food and wine.
'Councillors are full of praise for the committee's achievements and are pleased Council has the expertise in the Events Unit of Destination Tamworth to be able to run and grow the festival in the future,' he said.
'The handover of the TASTE Festival to Council ensures Tamworth continues to benefit from a very popular event enjoyed by residents and visitors while also raising money for groups in the local community – it's a win-win.'
Destination Tamworth Business and Commercial Enterprises Co-ordinator, Kate Baker, said the move is 'an exciting step'.
'We are looking forward to working with the TASTE Committee Tamworth to transition these events into bigger and bolder spectacles and to grow other activities throughout the region to support the existing events.'
TASTE Committee Tamworth chairman Jye Segboer is delighted that the festival will continue to grow and prosper under the support of Destination Tamworth.
'Our Taste committee is made up of a small group of passionate and dedicated individuals who will continue to support Destination Tamworth with these events,' he said.
Mrs Baker said the public's enthusiasm for the TASTE Festival events has been 'fabulous'. 'We want to ensure that the TASTE Festival can continue to grow and attract visitors to our area, whilst remaining accessible for locals, local businesses and surrounding producers at the same time,' she said.
Cr Murray praised the efforts of the TASTE Committee Tamworth members in establishing the festival on the local social calendar.
'The TASTE Festival has gone from strength to strength, largely thanks to the dedication of the TASTE Committee Tamworth, whose commitment to growing these events is commendable,' he said.
'Council, in agreeing to the Committee's request to take over the festival, has also acknowledged how important it is to maintain the support of the community and have access to specialist advice on food and wine so we will form a community advisory committee to provide that advice.'
This year's Taste in the Park event, sponsored by Destination Tamworth, was attended by more than 5000 locals and visitors.