A Cockermouth festival has been hailed for providing a major boost to the town’s economy and putting it firmly on the map.

Businesses in Cockermouth say the Taste Cumbria event, now in its 10th year, showcases all that is good about the area.

And with thousands of people flocking in from across the county – and further afield – it also provided a major cash injection.

Twinned with the Northbound festival for the first time, it attracted a new clientele for many of the town’s businesses.

Louisa Le Voi, of the Quince and Medlar restaurant said Taste Cumbria is a positive presence in the town: “It was a good atmosphere and it was nice to do something different. It was a good way to showcase what we do.”

And Alessandro Zaccaria and Carla Frontini, who run Italian eatery Fermento believe the food and live music festival bolstered their growing business.

Mr Zaccaria said: “We are happy with how it went. It was a very good opportunity for us, raising the profile of the place, the town and letting people know that the market place is where you want to be for food and hospitality.”

And the couple added that the general feeling was positive.

Ms Frontini added: “We had a chat with other businesses who were happy with how it went.”

The message of the festival was eat, drink, shop and dance and that is exactly what thousands did in Cockermouth.

Local bands Crow Dogs and The Northern Threads got the Northbound stage off to a great start on Friday night at Memorial Gardens. Then Skafell did an amazing afternoon set on Saturday, which had many of the crowd singing and dancing to the Ska sound. The Appy Mundays also got the crowd moving and grooving later that night with a fantastic tribute to The Happy Mondays/Black Grape. They said on the mic that they don’t get free festivals like this in Manchester.

I think everyone there would agree it was a wonderful event. This is the first year that the Northbound music festival has merged with Taste Cumbria and the joining of the events made for an excellent festival experience.

Against the odds the weather was warm on Saturday, bringing out festival goers in their thousands. A continuous stream of people walked from the Memorial Gardens to Main Street with both fans of music and food happy to try the delights of each. When the music stopped at the Northbound stage on Saturday, many of Cockermouth’s pubs continued the music theme with live music.

New for this year was fairground kids activities and an afternoon/evening street party in Market Place.

Stallholders had been incredibly busy with some selling out of stock on Saturday. One said it was the best day’s trading he had done all year.

All the events went as planned on Sunday, as people came equipped with their wellies to deal with any mud.

With food and drink stalls the length of Main Street, makers’ and producers’ markets, hot food stalls, a demo stage and plenty to keep all generations happy, with the addition of some banging beats, this was the best Taste Cumbria festival yet.