LAW firm Raworths is to continue as title sponsor of Harrogate International Festival’s headline literature festival.

The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival returns for a seventh time this year in a new autumn slot from October 19-22.

The line-up includes Joan Bakewell, Dame Jenni Murray, presenter Kate Garraway, Peter Snow, Philomena author and journalist Martin Sixsmith, Jonathan Aitken, Victoria Hislop and Sophie Kinsella.

Raworths became the inaugural sponsor of the literature festival in 2012 to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

Zoe Robinson, managing partner of Raworths, said: “We are thrilled to continue our support of Harrogate International Festivals. There is a real synergy in this partnership of two long standing Harrogate institutions, both proud of our legacies and contribution to the town.

“We are committed to Harrogate, and proud to support the arts in the area and help enhance the town’s national reputation as the ‘Jewel of the North’, making it such a vibrant place in which to live and work.”

Raworths was established by Edwin Raworth, the great-grandfather of newsreader Sophie Raworth.

Victoria Ibbertson, Literature Festivals manager at Harrogate International Festivals, said: “We are extremely grateful to Raworths for their commitment, and passionate support. The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival has built an enviable reputation as a bespoke high calibre literary event.

" For this reason we have taken the decision to move the Festival to October – to give it room to further flourish and grow outside of our busy summer programme.

"October is also perfect timing for new releases ahead of the Christmas period to allow us to bring the biggest and best names and themes to our audiences.”

Victoria added: “As an arts charity, only 2 per cent of our income is from public money. The support of Raworths helps Harrogate continue to attract the biggest names in publishing. This shows what exciting innovation is possible when the business community steps in to support the arts.”

The festival will be hosted by the Crown Hotel.