Morley Literature Festival being re-invented

Gervase Phinn is just one big name that has appeared at Morley Literature Festival.
Gervase Phinn is just one big name that has appeared at Morley Literature Festival.

Morley’s Literature Festival is to undergo an exciting revamp and name change, as a new director takes charge of the town’s annual cultural celebration.

Rachael Kennedy has been announced as the festival’s new spearhead as outgoing director Alison Brumwell leaves the role to pursue new opportunities.

The event will be renamed Morley Arts Festival and expanded to encompass speakers and workshops from the backgrounds of theatre, dance and music, as well as retaining a core focus on literature.

The programme, which traditionally runs for two weeks in October, will also be extended to last the entire month as the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2015.

Mrs Kennedy, who will combine the role with her current position as town events manager and involvement with the chamber of commerce, said: “It’s a great privilege to be able to take on the role as the festival’s new director.

“I’m really looking forward to working closely with a number of people, and Morley being Morley there’s always volunteers coming forward to help which will make my job a lot easier.

“Alison Brumwell did a great job last year and she has forged links with a number of good contacts for which I’m grateful.”

“The festival will be 10 years old next year and we’re looking to make a big splash with it, reinvent it and give it a whole new brand.” The festival’s demographic will also be moved to further appeal to younger generations. Mrs Kennedy added: “We’re also looking to further engage young people, children and families.

There is a very good schools programme already in place and we will be looking to expand on this and have lots of different workshops for families. We’re very keen to leave a legacy there.”

Previous festivals have attracted high-calibre speakers such as Will Self, Kate Adie and Gervase Phinn, and Mrs Kennedy hinted that there would be another enthralling lineup for 2015, although the names remain “top secret” for now.