Council gives its full views on Valley Gardens controversy

Just one of the three damaged grass areas in Valley Gardens which council gardeners have been reseeding. (1609121AM2)
Just one of the three damaged grass areas in Valley Gardens which council gardeners have been reseeding. (1609121AM2)

Harrogate Borough Council has given its full views on the controversy over the recent food festival in the Valley Gardens.

Although local organisers of the hugely-popular StrEat Food Festival, which was being held for the first time, are confident it will return next year and in Valley Gardens.

Unpaid guardians of the park, Friends of Valley Gardens, had suggested the successful event be moved to The Stray instead.

Here is the full statement from the council, which is responsible for the lovely gardens.

The statement reads:

Harrogate Borough Council is currently in discussions regarding the StrEat Food Festival coming back next year, but these are discussions and a decision has yet to be made.

Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper said: “Harrogate is developing an enviable reputation for the diversity and quality of events that are held within the town.

“The StrEat Food and Family Fun Festival is only the second major event that the council has commissioned in Valley Gardens this year. The first was the immensely popular Fire Garden which attracted around 20,000 people, and the second which was even more popular, being the StrEat Food Festival which attracted 110,000 people over four days.”

“Whilst, feedback from people attending the festival has been very positive, it is important that we consider how we can address any issues that arose, such as how we can minimise any damage to the gardens for any future events. At present, no decision has been made with regards to future major events within Valley Gardens.

“We have an excellent relationship with the Friends of Valley Gardens, and we will be speaking with them to ensure that we are aware of and address their concerns.

“We are committed to working closely with event organisers to consider potential issues and how to address any issues which arise as soon as possible.

“Whilst the Stray is an ideal location for events, the Stray Act does restrict what events can be held on this land and the number of times per year it can be used for such activities, so for events to take place in Harrogate we need to consider alternative venues."