Walshy kicks off west end’s street festival

30 November 2016

Nearly 4,000 people had the chance to meet the LCFC legend Steve Walsh at community street festival Winter Westival on Sunday.

The event was launched by Walshy, and local people enjoyed shopping for local crafts and tasty treats in the festive market, taking a ride on the funfair, listening to the local bands playing live and meeting the Winter Westival Ice Queen on stilts.

The festival hosted lots of fantastic local craft sellers and children’s activities including Cultivating Communities who helped more than 60 children make wooden reindeer decorations.

Local musicians and performers included The Heartland Roots Band and the Punky Hoops for the illuminated hula hooping and fire-eating finale.

The West End Brewery brewed a beer especially for the occasion, the Westive-Ale, and several other cafes, bars and restaurants came out on to the street.

On both Saturday night and Sunday there was free entertainment inside venues along the street, including free trials on the sports simulators at Walshy’s Sports Pad, live music at Natterjacks, Sumo, the West End Brewery and Café 96 Degrees.

A group of local volunteers, and staff from shops and venues along Braunstone Gate have been working since to June to put the festival together, which is part of the wider Braunstone Gate Local People project.

Local volunteers involved in the Braunstone Gate Local People project have been supported by the charity Sustrans.

The project is funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthBelief through The Health Lottery, and Leicester City Council.

The event was sponsored by Malcom Murphy Hair, Tescos, Natterjacks, and The West End Brewery.

Christina Birkby, local resident and volunteer festival organiser, said: “It’s been great to get to know people in the local area, and the day has had a really friendly atmosphere, with great live music and street entertainment.”

Jen of Malcom Murphy Hair, local resident and volunteer festival organiser, said: “We were really glad to sponsor this event because it’s a real boost to the community as well as the businesses in the area, and it puts Braunstone Gate back on the map.”

Irene, local resident, said: “It has been a fantastic community response, lots of people have been eager to help with organizing and delivering leaflets. I had a great time, there was good music and a great atmosphere.”

Charlotte Jones, Sustrans project co-ordinator and local resident, said: “Streets make up 80% of our public spaces in cities, yet we rarely feel that they are ours to use. I have talked with around 600 people around Braunstone Gate, and street festivals are very commonly suggested as a way to improve the street environment, to bring the community together and support the local economy. It’s been great to support the community in reclaiming the street space, and coming together to shape how it is used.”

David Jones, Director of Grant Programmes at People’s Health Trust said: “It great that this event, organised by residents, was such a success and that local people enjoyed themselves.

“Through the Braunstone Gate Local People project, residents are becoming more connected to their neighbourhood and feel more empowered to address local issues.”

Cllr Sarah Russell, ward councillor for the area along with Cllr Andy Connelly, said: “There’s a vibrant and active local community in the west end of Leicester, and this has been an ideal chance for people from across the city to come along and find out what makes the area so special.

“We're very pleased to have supported this event with £1,000 of ward community funding, and I’m sure that everyone who attended over the weekend enjoyed this chance to use our street spaces more creatively for the benefit of everyone.”

If you’d like to volunteer for next year’s festival or to find out more about the Braunstone Gate Community Forum, email [email protected] or call 07833 057 595.


Media enquiries

For media enquiries about the Winter Westival or Braunstone Gate Local People project, please contact Charlotte Jones on 07833 057 595 or [email protected]

For media enquiries about People’s Health Trust and the Local People programme, please contact Anna Mauremootoo – 020 7749 9105/ [email protected]

Notes to editors

Sustrans is the charity that’s enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day. It’s time we all began making smarter travel choices. Make your move and support Sustrans today. www.sustrans.org.uk

We want to see a safer school run. We believe that every child has the right to walk, cycle or scoot to school. To bring about this change, we need government to make dedicated funding available, commit to lower traffic speeds, and transform local walking and cycling routes. Together, we can make our streets safer. Join the campaign at www.sustrans.org.uk/saferstreets

People’s Health Trust is an independent charity which invests in local communities to help create a society without health inequalities. We do this because we believe that where people live should not unfairly reduce the length of their lives or the quality of their health. We fund ideas which are designed and run by local people. www.peopleshealthtrust.org.uk

The Local People Programme supports residents to have control over the design and delivery of projects which address the wider social determinants of health inequalities. It gives local organisations the opportunity to engage with local people in a different way supporting the increasing empowerment of local people to address wider issues in their communities and neighbourhoods through collective action.

HealthBelief is a Community Interest Company committed to raising money to address health inequalities in Northants, Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. www.healthbeliefcic.org.uk

The Health Lottery is operated for and on behalf of 51 Community Interest Companies across England, Scotland and Wales, all holding society lottery licenses granted by the Gambling Commission. www.healthlottery.co.uk

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