A NEW team behind the Devizes Food and Drink Festival is celebrating receiving backing from the town council as it moves date and adds new events.

Rosalind Ambler and Jenny Groom have become co-chairmen for the festival and believe the new dates of September 28 to October 6 will allow more people to attend.

Devizes Town Council has agreed to give the festival a grant of £1,000 and free use of the Corn Exchange for a multi-cultural feast event it is sponsoring.

A report to the town council said: "In line with other local groups, including the Devizes Arts Festival, the Food and Drink Festival is run entirely by volunteers. The majority of profit made from the event will, as in previous years, be donated to local charities.

"Costs incurred for this year’s event are taken from a small surplus left from previous festivals. To ensure all funds are spent directly on the festival itself, the organisers are asking for financial support from the Town Council."

Ms Groom said: "The new date means it will not be too close to the Arts Festival, which could put a strain on supporters’ purse strings if they want to attend a lot of events in both festivals."

Ms Ambler said: "We are starting with a completely new committee, and aim to appeal to a wider sector of the community by introducing some more affordable events, and things that will appeal to all ages."

Wadworth has signed up as main sponsor for the week and will be offering a wine tasting and dinner at the Bear Hotel, and other events to be announced nearer the time.

Ms Ambler said: "The World Food Event, sponsored by the town council, is where local people with different heritage will be offering taster samples of one of their national dishes.

"So far cooks from Syria, Slovakia, Fiji, Poland and Cornwall and more have come forward."

Other events will include a More Tea, Vicar? from Tea Inc that includes tutored tasting of lots of different teas.

Dining Somewhere Different will present lunch or dinner in some unusual places including the Lock Up below the town hall, while old favourites such as a dinner at Erlestoke Prison, and the ever popular Come Dine With Us dinner parties will return.

Email devizesfoodfest@gmail.com for further information.