THE Ledbury Poetry Festival team are celebrating after the Festival took top spot in the Best Community Festival and Event category, for the prestigious Visit Herefordshire Awards

Ledbury Poetry Festival was awarded the accolade of “Best Festival” at a special presentation last week, which was held at Malvern Theatres.

Judges praised the Festival for being “truly embedded in the community”, and having “enormous reach and scope” for a festival of its size.

Festival manager, Phillippa Slinger, who attended to collect the accolade said: "“I think they were referring to the Festival’s international appeal, and how it brings thousands of visitors to the area. “Ledbury really is on the world poetry calendar; it's a bit like the Glastonbury of poetry. But what I’m pleased about is that the award recognises the enormous amount of work volunteers and the local community put in to the Festival."

She added: " From accommodating poets in their homes, to putting in long hours at hospitality, complex event managing and stewarding – the Festival couldn’t exist without our amazing army of volunteers who give so much; and also the shops and businesses who support the Festival and make beautiful window displays.

"The judges picked up on all the good work the Festival does in the community and local schools in its outreach programmes. And of course there are the partnerships with the Town Council, the Town Traders’ Association, Ledbury Fringe and Ledbury Food Group which resulted in this year’s huge Ledbury Celebration. The judges have picked up on the real grass-roots support and awarded us accordingly, against really tough competition.”

Now the Festival is looking to even more community support, and it is organising a training day on event managing, to take place on Wednesday, March 14.

Anyone interested in this, or other aspects of becoming a volunteer, should phone 01531 634156, or visit