THE first food and drink festival held in Corbridge was such a success that organisers are already looking to repeat the event next year.

Lead organisers Bob and Jen Horton, of the Corbridge Larder, were inspired to start the festival as a way to promote Corbridge’s local produce and businesses, and fill the gap in trade during the quiet autumn season.

Local eateries offered discounts on products and special events, such as tastings, live music and specialist menus, which all proved a success over the four-day event, with pubs and restaurants being packed-out with visitors.

Darren Williams, owner of micro-pub Pele Tower, described business over the four-day event as “booming”, and said the festival provided a good boost in trade towards the run-up to Christmas.

Some of the other attractions included Morris dancers parading the streets, an art exhibition, and a steel band performing for visitors.

The Great Corbridge Bake-Off, which was judged by a team led by BBC Look North’s Carol Malia, saw more than 100 entries from hopeful bakers.

“Truthfully, we were only expecting around 10 cakes to be submitted,” Bob Horton said. “So when we received hundreds of cakes, it was a welcome surprise.”

The baker who was awarded first prize in the adult category was Alex Miller, while Phillip Hall was runner-up. In the junior contemporary category, Archie Palmer, aged nine, received first place for his Hadrian’s Wall-inspired cake.

“I’m very happy to have drawn attention to the great produce Corbridge has to offer,” Bob said. “The turn-out of visitors was amazing, and people came from all over the county to attend the festival.”

Bob added: “The reception from both locals and visitors was that they would like to see it become an annual event, so that’s what we plan to do.”