A GOURMET food festival is hoping to branch out to Knutsford in 2018, after a successful inaugural event this year.

Pub in the Park, the brainchild of celebrity chef Tom Kerridge and Brand Events, is a festival combining the best pub food the country has to offer with demonstrations, live music and shopping.

Following a launch event in Marlow, which sold out its 18,000 tickets in 24 hours, Pub in the Park is heading ‘on tour’ next year – culminating on The Heath from September 7 to 9.

Subject to being granted a licence, the event hopes to pull in 15,000 to its Cheshire event. Brand Events is currently engaging residents and community groups.

The company will submit full traffic management and health and safety plans to accompany the application, and is in talks with the Tatton Estate to use land nearby for parking.

A spokesman for Brand Events said: “We head to Knutsford in the north of England for our final Pub in the Park festival of 2018.

“In Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, Knutsford is renowned for its large line-up of restaurants, bars and artisan producers – and will see 15,000 locals and visitors to the area join the festival fun.”

Further events planned for 2018 include a return to Marlow in May, a June weekend in Bath and a trip in July to Tunbridge Wells. Overall, 70,000 visitors are expected to take in the festivities.

The event description said: “Each event is split into timed afternoon and evening sessions to reflect restaurant lunch and dinner sittings.

“In this way, we open our doors to separate and new groups of customers throughout the weekend.

“In each session our visitors can graze on gourmet food and drink, gaining inspiration in our Chef Demo Stage and treating themselves in the shopping areas before finishing their afternoon or evening by enjoying some chart-topping musical acts on our main stage.”

Knutsford Town Council's planning committee lodged no objection to the licence application.

Committee chairman Cllr Jonathan Farber said: "I have considered how it presents itself - it's a different kind of event, a premium-style event.

"Retailers I have spoken to want it, and people who own pubs and bars welcome it."

Fellow committee member Cllr Stewart Gardiner, also a member of Friends of the Heath, said the application raised concerns for neighbouring residents and could set a dangerous precedent.