HIGH street businesses were urged to support the Pershore Plum Festival by the chairman, Angela Tidmarsh, at the annual meeting.

Mrs Tidmarsh, Wychavon tourism officer, said whatever business they were in they could benefit in some way if they looked at the wider picture and not just “if I don’t grow plums or cook plum crumble then I can’t get involved”.

She said: “We also need to make the retailers aware of the amazing opportunities that are on offer under the umbrella of the Plum Festival.

“I make no apologies for my comments about the apathy of the High Street businesses when we spend hours taking round questionnaires, although I do thank each and every shop that took the time to turn their windows purple.

“This is an amazing spectacle and one which Pershore is getting famous for.”

Mrs Tidmarsh thanked the traders who got involved and the Chamber of Trade for its support, adding: “I totally understand everyone is having a hard time, but surely businesses in Pershore are unique in having a triple award winning festival taking place outside their doors and everyone in Pershore has to celebrate this festival, be proud of it and take every opportunity it affords.”

She pointed out that if the event was to continue and have all the things like the balloons, signage, discounted park-andride and entertainment, they would have to make more money or get a lot more things sponsored.

Mrs Tidmarsh said that the town council would no longer be able to insure the event and that toilets and litter collection cost more than £1,200.

She added: “I’m proud, happy and raring to go for next year, but we have to be realistic now.

“We are organising a massive event on basically a shoestring and unless these issues are looked at closely now, costs will escalate and the Plum Festival will be no more.

“This would be tragic as so much time, sweat, tears and effort has gone into where we are today. We must not let this happen.”

Mrs Tidmarsh said the emphasis needed to be on plums, purple, fun, variety and quality.

“It must ooze quality, quality produce, quality shopping, quality attractions and quality customer service.”