South Downs Foodie Tourism Boost

3 Andy HepworthOver 100 local food and drink businesses participated in the South Downs Food & Drink Spring Event, hosted at the stunning new Hepworths Brewery in Pulborough on 24 April 2017.

Sussex-based Natural Partnerships CIC organised the event to launch their new Local Food Detective, a free service to hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs based in the South Downs region to help them build their appeal to foodie tourists.

The project was awarded a grant from the new Government ‘Championing British Food Tourism’ scheme in November and is a simple technical tool attached to the online local food directory, which features the best food shops, places to eat and events where people can eat, buy and enjoy local produce.

Hilary Knight, co-director of Natural Partnerships Community Interest Company (CIC) said: “When people are on holiday, whether they are weekenders or visitors from overseas, they don’t want to have generic food that you can have everywhere, they want to have that food experience, unique to where they are visiting.

“Our product will help hospitality businesses by giving them the opportunity to quickly and easily show people enquiring about booking just what a great foodie experience they can have while they’re here – and so help encourage them to confirm bookings and have a better holiday.

The launch event was supported by South Downs National Park Authority, NFU Pulborough and Coast to Capital LEP.

Malcolm Brabon, Head of Service from Coast to Capital LEP, said, “We have a really exciting and innovative food and drink industry in Sussex and we are keen to support these businesses through our Business Navigator service, which can help them find support to grow.”

NFU Mutual Pulborough also shared their expertise in food and drink insurance services with the businesses attending.

Guests enjoyed tasting food and drink from over 30 producers from East Hampshire to East Sussex Andy Hepworth also gave brewery tours of Hepworths’ superb, new, purpose-built home in Pulborough, where they have recently moved to from Horsham.

Businesses wishing to get involved should contact

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