A LONG-ESTABLISHED Worcester butcher says his business was hit hard by the city's recent Foodie Festival, and he wants organisers to think again.

Phil Watson, of Syd Smith and Son at The Corn Market, The Shambles, says his trade was down by almost a half on the opening day of the two day festival, Saturday August 3, because some of the stall-holders were selling meat.

Mr Watson, owner of the shop, which has been in business for 19 years, said: "We are trying make a living down here, and the festival undermined my business. I lost nearly half my takings on the Saturday."

He declined to say how much he was down, but said it was "a fair few hundred".

Mr Watson added: "We are an established company, and we pay our rates. Why have butchers selling what we sell? I'm disgusted."

In future, Mr Watson wants more attention to be paid to what the stalls are selling.

He said: "I just want people not to sell the products we sell. It's a cut-throat business at present."

But another local businessman, Phil Clarke of Colston's Bakery, Angel Place,

said Mr Watson should consider taking a stall next year.

He said: "We had a stall, and it was very good, well worth doing.

"I would advise Mr Watson to have a stall. What can you do but join them?

"Some people at the festival were people who do not normally come in to Worcester normally.

"We had loads of new customers. It's worth giving it a try."

The Foodie Festival is organised by the Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) group.

Adrian Field of BID said: ‘We are sorry that Mr Watson did not have a great day trade wise on what was a poor day for weather.

"The event aims to promote Worcester city centre as a whole and the great food offering that we have within it. Footfall on the Saturday was up by 21% on the previous week, even with the rain, so hopefully these customers will subsequently follow up their visit to food related businesses such as Mr Watson’s.

"We would be delighted if he wanted to be involved more next year.’