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March 2016 Statement

FEAST ON THE STREET STATEMENT 25th MARCH 2016

Feast on the Street, Norfolk and Suffolk’s Street food collective, today announces that The Forum has cancelled its remaining dates at the venue.

This is a very sad and disappointing decision not just for us but also for our traders who have lost a regular place to trade in the city, and of course for our regular customers many of whom have followed us since we started four years ago” explains Tony Lacey director and founder of the Norfolk based social enterprise.

Unfortunately accidents sometimes happen and we have complied and implemented all of the Forums recommendations to minimise any spillages. Our traders are made fully aware of the terms under which they trade whilst outside the venue. The reality is that these do happen and when they have we have apologised and paid for a complete clean up.

In the four years we have been trading monthly at The Forum there have been four occasions where we have had minor spillages and on each occasion we have paid for the stain to be cleaned.”

The cancellation of the now twice monthly events puts a question mark over the continuation of the collective who regularly work with other local groups and organisations like the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival and Norwich City Council.

We have been told this ban will affect our involvement in other events organised by third parties like The Norfolk Food and Drink Festival & the City Council, but it seems other hot food served outside is OK. Obviously this means our traders are effectively being victimised by the mistakes of a small minority and we see that as being grossly unfair. What is to stop organisers booking our traders directly, will The Forum ban them? I’m not sure that there is much support for what we do, not to mention the fact that the cost of hiring to small community groups such as ours has doubled in the last 12 months. I do find the attitude towards a regular hirer very strange.” Says Mr Lacey.

The group are now desperate to find another city location so that they can continue with their aims outlined in their CIC undertakings.

We’ve spoken to the City Council and will be going back to them to see if they can help, but the reality is that there is a lack of suitable space in the city and that’s a shame since street food has been embraced in other cities around the country like Cambridge and Oxford.

It has been well documented that the presence of street food helps footfall in a location and has been known to help regenerate previously unloved areas of a city.

Ideally we would like to team up with a private company who has some land, an unused warehouse or area waiting to be developed. We’re more than happy to take on short term leases so we can create interest in an area and provide much needed trading opportunities for our traders and food options that we know the people of Norwich want.”

Feast on the Street will continue to provide opportunities to its trader members and works with event organisers across the region supplying a one stop service to numerous events.

ENDS