BUSINESSES in Hereford are hoping for a bumper boost to their trade when the city is transformed into a foodie heaven next month.

From August 23, Castle Green will play host to three days of eating, drinking and entertainment when around 34,000 people are expected to visit this year’s Flavours of Herefordshire Festival.

With such large crowds anticipated, festival organiser Visit Herefordshire is keen to ensure that county residents, businesses and exhibitors benefit from the festival’s success.

Hereford entrepreneur Luke Conod said: “Since the event moved to the city centre, we have seen a 40 per cent increase in sales over the weekend of the Flavours of Herefordshire Festival.”

And one local butcher reported he had sold more in two days than in a whole month last year.

And the festival – which has secured a spot for Herefordshire on the “foodie map” – has a local name steering it to success this year.

Becci O’Reilly, from Rosson- Wye, has taken on the role of festival director, having achieved a first class honours degree in event management from the University of Gloucestershire.

She said: “As a not-for-profit organisation, our remit is to promote the county and increase visitors to the area to help the local economy.

“Keeping the festival free to enter enables visitors to spend money at the festival and in local businesses.

“Preparations are coming along nicely and we hope to see record numbers.”

Meanwhile, 20 Herefordshire children are preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a popular television personality after scooping first prize in a craft competition.

Youngsters between three and 11 were asked to produce an invitation with iconic images of the county to welcome CBeebies’ Mister Maker to the festival. One entrant even used sweets to represent sheep in the Wye Valley.

Lucky winners are to receive a 45-minute ‘mini make’ session with Mister Maker on the Sunday.

Visit to purchase tickets or call the box office on 01432 268430.