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Return of Sudbury Silk Festival confirmed - here's when to expect the next event

PUBLISHED: 15:05 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:05 24 January 2020

Sudbury Silk Festival September 2019. Picture: ANGIE BENTLEY

Sudbury Silk Festival September 2019. Picture: ANGIE BENTLEY

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Sudbury will hold a silk festival every two years following the success of last year's inaugural event, it has been confirmed.

Sudbury Silk Festival September 2019. Picture: ANGIE BENTLEYSudbury Silk Festival September 2019. Picture: ANGIE BENTLEY

Around 5,000 people attended the event on September 7 last year to celebrate the town's history in the industry dating back to the 1790s, with locally woven fabric having been worn by the likes of Princess Diana and Michelle Obama.

In a report prepared for Babergh District Council it was confirmed the event would return every two years, with preparation already underway for the 2021 event.

Smaller events will take place in the intervening years - including this year - to highlight the industry's importance locally.

Babergh District Council cabinet member for communities, Derek Davis said: "We were pleased to support the first ever Silk Festival last year.

Babergh cabinet member Derek Davis hailed the success of the 2019 festival. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBabergh cabinet member Derek Davis hailed the success of the 2019 festival. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"The event was a fantastic way to showcase a key part of Sudbury's heritage and was a tremendous success thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, attracting more than 5,000 visitors.

"Sudbury has been involved in the silk industry for more than 100 years and is still very much part of our tradition today.

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"Fabric produced in the town has been used in the making the wedding dresses of Princess Anne and Princess Diana and a gown for Michelle Obama, to name just a few.

Sudbury Silk Festival September 2019. Picture: ANGIE BENTLEYSudbury Silk Festival September 2019. Picture: ANGIE BENTLEY

"We are proud to continue to support this wonderful initiative and look forward to continuing our association through a biennial event."

According to the council's report, the 2020 event will focus on textile makers and crafters, and is utilising local experts as event organisers.

A bid is also being made to Arts Council England to continue work with schools on the town's silk heritage beyond April 2020.

While only a few details for the 2021 event have been announced, the council did confirm it will be held over three days at eight venues in the town centre.

Talks, walks, films and exhibitions are also being lined up for next year.

Gainsborough's House is involved in the project having agreed to support organisers with a funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for three years of cash support.

If successful, that will support the events in 2021 and 2023.

Last year's first festival featured garments from designer Vivienne Westwood and historic weaving displays, held at St Peter's Church.

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