Town festival secures move to ‘amazing’ new venue

A festival which has raised nearly £40,000 in memory of a Sudbury musician will move to a new home at Melford Hall for this year’s event.

LeeStock, which raises money for the Willow Foundation which helped Lee Dunford before his death from cancer aged 21 in 2006, has previously been held at the White Horse in North Street, Sudbury, and at AFC Sudbury’s MEL Group Stadium. Around 750 people attended last year’s event.

On Thursday Babergh District Council’s licensing sub-committee approved an application by organisers of the event to move it to the National Trust-owned hall in Long Melford.

Peter Keogh, who helps stage the event with his brothers Matthew and Edd, along with Matthew Starling, James Janzen and Andrew Piper, said: “We are very pleased we’ve been given the licence to run this event which we care a lot about. Melford Hall is an amazing venue and will be a great backdrop.”

An objection to the application had been raised by nearby resident Richard Roper due to concerns over issues including enforcement of alcohol restrictions and parking.

Speaking during the meeting, Lee Carvell, corporate manager for licensing at Babergh, said: “Mr Roper doesn’t object to the purpose of the event but he doesn’t wish to see it open the floodgates, as he puts it, for future events.”

Mr Keogh told the committee that the mangement group had worked closely with a safety advisory group on alcohol and enforcement issues, as well as Long Melford Parish Council, Project 7 fundraising group and residents close to the hall.

“LeeStock has grown each year,” he said. “We would expect 800 to 1,000 people, so we have said up to 1,500 as we don’t want to limit ourselves.”