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Galtres Festival to be staged at Duncombe Park, near Helmsley
A FAMILY festival staged every summer has found a surprise new location at a North Yorkshire stately home.
The Galtres Festival, held over the August Bank Holiday, will this year be held at Duncombe Park, near Helmsley, after organisers had originally narrowed a shortlist to Rawcliffe Country Park, in York, and Folly Wood, at Huby.
The festival is leaving its Crayke home due to growing visitor numbers and parking problems in wet weather. It will be its sixth change of venue since the event began in 2005, but organiser James Houston said Duncombe Park would be “a truly fabulous and spectacular location”.
“It is perfect for our festival, and what we also deeply value is the warm welcome we have received from everybody in Helmsley,” he said.
“It’s clear they appreciate the quality of our event and the value of the benefits it will bring to Helmsley and the region.”
Helmsley hotelier Chris Parker, a town councillor and member of Helmsley In Business, said: “It has been proved with other events that Helmsley has the capacity and ability to add to the visitor experience, and we hope festival-goers will visit the town.”
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said the move would be a “great boost” for Helmsley and the event.
Mr Houston said the festival would “respect Helmsley and minimise disruption”, but the Galtres team still wanted to run events at Rawcliffe Country Park - despite some local concerns about the possibility of the festival being staged there after organisers expressed an interest in the site – and Folly Wood.
“Both are excellent venues in very different ways, and we’ve spent a lot of time talking to and listening to people who live around those sites,” he said.
“While there are concerns about holding events there, there is also much support.
“Our plan is to run smaller events to start with and then build on those with the growing trust of local communities.”
Rawcliffe resident Adam Bilton, who was among those unhappy at the country park being the festival’s potential base, said: “I’ve been to the Galtres Festival at Sutton Park and Crayke and really enjoyed it, but it works well in locations like those rather than areas where there is congestion and families living nearby. It’s positive news and I hope the country park will not be considered as a venue in future.”
Charlie Croft, City of York Council’s assistant director of communities, culture and public realm, said the authority was pleased a festival site had been found near York.
He said: “We understand the organisers have chosen Duncombe Park for a variety of reasons and we continue to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the future with them, and wish this year’s festival every success.”