Thousands of people descended on Preston’s Flag Market on Saturday 8th July as two huge public events took place.

Let’s Cook Live, a free family event featuring celebrity chefs and entertainers, and Prestfest, a huge music concert, brought the city centre to life.

The events were staged by the Business Improvement District, which is funded and supported by businesses within the city centre.

CBeebies favourite Katy Ashworth, TV chef Dean Edwards and soap star Scott Maslen, supported by chefs from the Guild Hall’s Mundo Tapas restaurant, cooked some great dishes throughout the day and entertained the family audience basking in the summer sunshine.

Marks & Spencer provided the ingredients for the chef’s demonstrations and set up a pop-up artisan bakery, much to the delight of the event attendees.

Come the evening, the Flag Market was transformed in to enclosed arena as Prestfest, the city’s annual celebration of its Purple Flag award, welcomed party-
goers from across the North West.

The line-up, which was bolstered by a crop of Preston’s best DJ talent, saw international performers Tom Zanetti & Fatman Scoop flew in to bring the party to Preston.

Leigh Sweetman, chair of the Preston At Night Committee said: ‘Saturday was simply fantastic, better than we could have wished for. Let’s Cook Live was a great way to start the day, seeing families and people of all ages participating and enjoying the strong line-up of personalities was brilliant.


‘Prestfest was outstanding; the weather was on our side which really helped to enhance the overall experience.

‘So many people dedicated their time to this event – in order to showcase what Preston is capable of, it was a great feeling to see so many people engage in the events.

‘Saturday proved why we are ‘Proud Preston’ – the business came together to do something great for Lancashire; in return, the people of Preston and beyond, supported them like only they could’ ‘I could not be more proud of those involved or the people that attended.’

Jordan Griffith, commercial manager at M&S Preston, said: ‘We are committed to working with the local communities that we serve and the Let’s Cook Live event on Saturday allowed us just to do that. We hope everyone who joined us on the day had a fantastic time and were inspired by the chefs to re-create the recipe demonstrations at home. We would like to thank Preston BID for allowing us to be part of the event and hope this is the first of many to come.’

Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: ‘Saturday’s events were a huge success, helped by the glorious weather. Activities like Let’s Cook Live and Prestfest are vital in encouraging people to visit Preston city centre, bringing people together and adding significant value to the local economy’.

Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.