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Norwich City of Ale Festival success presented to MPs in Westminster

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 June 2014

Last year's City of Ale launch in Norwich. Left to right Phil Cutter, Sheriff Graham Creelman, Lord Mayor Keith Driver and Dawn Leeder before getting on the bus heading for the launch party. Photo: Steve Adams

Last year's City of Ale launch in Norwich. Left to right Phil Cutter, Sheriff Graham Creelman, Lord Mayor Keith Driver and Dawn Leeder before getting on the bus heading for the launch party. Photo: Steve Adams

A Norwich delegation has appeared before MPs in Westminster today to talk about the success of the City of Ale Festival.

The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group invited those who are involved in the highly successful event to make a presentation about the secrets to its success – and how other towns and cities could learn from it.

The delegation, made up of Dawn Leeder, co-chair of the festival, Phil Cutter, landlord at The Murderers and fellow co-chair, Nick Bond, head of Visit Norwich, Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID and David Powles, from the EDP and Norwich Evening News, made a 25-minute presentation to MPs, before taking questions.

Since launching in May 2011 the 10-day festival has grown to include 44 pubs, 39 breweries, 247 local ales and more than 200 events.

Its success is largely due to the fact that it appeals to local real-ale lovers, as well as draws people in from other parts of the country.

The committee heard of the benefits the event brings, not just to those in the beer industry but also to tourism, the city’s economy and its overall reputation.

Dawn Leeder said: “We are delighted to have been asked to present before MPs today. The City of Ale has gone from strength to strength over the last four years and this is a real testament to its success.”

This year’s festival also helped too raise funds for the EDP’s Flood Appeal, with proceeds from a specially brewed ale going to those in need of support following last December’s tidal surge.

For more on the trip and to find out what MPs thought, see tomorrow’s paper.

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