THE historic heart of Basingstoke is set to host the first of two Eat Street food festivals in the town centre.

London Street is hosting the event, organised and funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Destination Basingstoke, on April 12 from 11am to 3pm, ahead of the food fair a week later in Festival Place.

Basingstoke’s restaurants will open their doors to showcase international cuisine and demonstrate the tricks of their trade.

Accompanied by live music and The Candy Floss Queens, there will also be the chance to decorate cupcakes, make Easter eggs, follow a children’s Easter trail and taste food all for free.

The activities, which are supported and provided by local businesses, hope to draw attention to what is on offer in the area and increase footfall across the town.

Councillor Ranil Jayawardena, deputy leader of the borough council, said: “This will be a great event for local businesses and families looking for something to do on the first weekend of the Easter school holidays – making the Top of The Town a place to come to, not walk through.

“We're taking the action needed to turn 'old Basingstoke' into a more interesting and vibrant destination for residents and visitors today and tomorrow.”

Destination Basingstoke’s managing director Felicity Edwards added: “This is the first time anything like this has happened, and we hope it will encourage more co-operation between local businesses and a better understanding of what they each have to offer.”