Since its creation in 2013, the Dereham Blues Festival has become a staple in the town’s diary - but is it now also vital to the local economy.

In a meeting with aboutDereham, Doreen Aitken, co-founder of the festival, gave a presentation about the event's origins and how it led to the first Dereham Blues Festival in 2013.

Over that time, the festival has grown with more venues involved.

Mrs Aitken said she has been told by a landlord how the festival benefits trade, and if that model was applied across all benefitting businesses around Dereham,  it was estimated over £1m of additional revenue was brought into the local economy last year alone.

Dereham Times: Dereham Blues Festival 2023Dereham Blues Festival 2023 (Image: Colin Collis)

Mrs Aitken is now looking to secure funding to help celebrate and make the 2024 festival special -  which will be the 10th edition of the event.

“We already partner with other organisations in the town but want to be able to make the festival more accessible and of more interest to a wider group of the community including schools," she said.

"It's also important that we look to the future, who knows what is down the line for current organisers?

"It would be great if we could be in a position where we never have to pull the plug on the festival, that is why we are working hard to widen its existing community base."

Steve Garner, landlord at The Cock and owner of Glendower Apartments in the town, added: “With our apartments that time of the year is already busy being the summer, but the pub's income trebles on that weekend, the festival has become paramount to our survival.

Dereham Times: Steve Garner (left) landlord at The Cock and owner of Glendower Apartments with Dereham mayor, Hugh KingSteve Garner (left) landlord at The Cock and owner of Glendower Apartments with Dereham mayor, Hugh King (Image: Steve Garner)

“Everyone thinks this is just a jolly, but I think people would be staggered to hear what it does for business, - people come from all over for the weekend, it is so important to Dereham.”

The festival will return in 2024 from Wednesday, July 10 to 14.

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