Festival pioneer Christine Cort pops up in Preston

Neil Thornton, Christine Cort and Ben Casey

Cultural catalyst Christine Cort is working on a new pop up food and drink venue in Preston at Chew’s Yard in Market Street West.

One of the founding directors of the highly successful Manchester International Festival, and the former marketing director of publisher Time Out, she is working on developing the new event space initially over three long weekends right up to Christmas Eve as a showcase and sneak preview for a permanent multi event space.

Chew’s Yard founder and national creative designer, Ben Casey, said: “We want to complement Preston’s cultural scene and bring something refreshingly independent to the city’s food, drink and entertainment sector.

“A Christmas pop up is a great way to let the people of Preston and Lancashire know what is coming in 2024 – it’s ambitious and will add a lot of new life to Market Street West.”

Casey owns The Chase, a creative agency and invited Christine Cort, a fellow Lancastrian, to curate the food and drink side of Chew’s Yard and oversee the wide-ranging programme of events.

The project is being delivered by Preston developer and former journalist Neil Thornton, who worked with Casey on the much admired Union Carriage Works residential development in Guildhall Street.

During the Christmas pop up there will be live bands and acoustic sets, storytelling, creative workshops and a street market anchored by food kitchens and a bar set up and run by chef Paul Heathcote’s bar and party specialist company, Escapade.