McCain chips in to support Big Malarkey children’s literature festival

James Green, McCain’s plant manager in Hull, and finance analyst Katie Edmonds pictured with their Big Malarkey wristbands.

Global food manufacturer McCain has joined the ranks of sponsors of The Big Malarkey, one of the country’s leading children’s literature festivals, which is now in its third year.

McCain is backing the festival as part of its commitment to inspiring and educating the next generation. 

The Big Malarkey, which is organised by Hull Culture and Leisure with funding from Arts Council England, was one of the most popular events during Hull’s UK City of Culture year. This year it will also have support from the Back To Ours and Absolutely Cultured volunteers as it returns to East Park in Hull from Tuesday 25 June until Sunday 30 June.

The festival will feature four days of activities for schools, providing opportunities for 2,000 children to meet authors and illustrators and to create their own stories. The schools events will also include the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award, with nearly 1,000 children assembling in the Big Top to choose their favourite author for 2019.

The weekend activities will be open to the public, giving everyone the chance to learn and have fun with top children’s writers, performers, musicians, artists and poets from across the country.

McCain opened its first UK factory in Scarborough in 1969 and now operates five manufacturing facilities across the country, with 90 people employed at the Hull site.

James Green, McCain’s Hull Plant Manager, said his team are thrilled to be sponsoring the Big Malarkey Festival to promote reading to youngsters in the area and beyond, and have offered free tickets to their Hull employees and families. 

He said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Big Malarkey Festival this year. As a business, we look to support initiatives in our community that help to educate and inspire young people, and I can’t think of a better event to encourage literary skills and creativity for Hull’s next generation.”

Marjorie Brabazon, Chair of the Hull Culture and Leisure board said “We have received great feedback in previous years from businesses that have supported The Big Malarkey Festival and it’s clear they recognise the benefits of helping children to develop vital life skills while also having fun.

“We are delighted that major local businesses are again supporting the festival and have been joined this year by McCain to invest in the next generation of readers. Business support is essential to help us to establish the festival as regular event in the city calendar and a major legacy of Hull 2017.

“Enjoyment of reading is the single most important thing that children can do to improve their academic achievement – more so than socio-economic background. At The Big Malarkey Festival, and all of our libraries, we like to emphasise the word ‘pleasure’ in that phrase – they are fantastic fun!”

Tickets for the Big Malarkey are on sale now through the official website at and the organisers are promising a packed programme with something for everyone aged 0 to 16 years.

[Phil Ascough – Ascough Associates]

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