COUNCIL bosses have pledged to prioritise foodies at a popular East Lancashire culinary festival this year.

In 2020 Clitheroe Food Festival, which attracts producers from across the region and customers from even further afield, will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

But following a review of the 2019 operation, Ribble Valley Council officials are proposing that the number of non-food stalls be scaled back when the event returns on August 8.

In a report to the borough's community committee, John Heap, community services director, said the authority worked to accommodate as many good causes as possible.

But he added: "The food festival has become increasingly popular with non-food stalls every year due to the high foot fall that is attracted to the event. We turn down more than we accept in any given year."

He is proposing that only three such attractions are permitted this year.

Proposals are also being drawn up to make the Bull Ring, the site of the open market, the focus for entertainment and demonstrations, following the removal of the fixed stands there.

This will mean that space has to be found around the town centre for the 20-plus food stalls which had pitches there this year.

Mr Heap has also noted that sponsorship for the festival has also dipped, down the years, with just £4,000 collected from its latest incarnation.

He says it has also become more difficult to attract enough paid staff and volunteers to work at the event.

The council is expected to set aside a budget of £14,120 for hosting the event, with the current reserves for the festival standing at £5,812.