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Fermoie announced as new headline sponsor of Marlborough LitFest

Interior design specialist Fermoie has been confirmed as the new headline sponsor of Marlborough Literature Festival, which takes place between September 28 and October 1.

Fermoie was established in Marlborough in 2010, by Farrow & Ball founders Tom Helme and Martin Ephson and is one of the world’s leading creators of fine fabrics, all designed and made in-house.

The firm employs 50 people in its design studio, factory and showroom on Marlborough Business Park.

Martin said: “I’ve been a Marlborough resident since 2006 and started Fermoie here in 2010. In that time I’ve seen the LitFest grow and thrive, and heard some fantastic speakers, including one of my favourite authors, William Boyd.

“I’m delighted that Fermoie is in a position to contribute to and share in the joy of this wonderful event. We’re very much looking forward to working with the amazing people behind it and helping strengthen LitFest’s place on the national as well as the county calendar.”

As lead sponsor, Fermoie will provide a range of support, particularly with promotion in print and across social media.

“Throughout my working life, I’ve believed that a business must be fully part of its local community in the widest sense,” said Martin. “We’re absolutely committed to creating a network of opportunity from sourcing through to recruitment. It’s really important to us that local people see Fermoie as somewhere they’d love to work, and where they can express and develop their talents and build great careers. This new partnership with Marlborough LitFest, which encourages and celebrates the best in human creativity, is a perfect fit with that broader ambition.”

The festival, which is now in its 14th year, has confirmed that acclaimed Irish novelist Sebastian Barry will be the Golding Speaker. The festival hosts the annual Golding Speaker event to celebrate the town’s connection with Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize winner William Golding.

The Dublin-born novelist, playwright and poet, Sebastian Barry, is considered to be one of Ireland’s finest contemporary writers, especially revered for his lyrical literary style.

The 2018-21 Laureate for Irish Fiction, his novels have twice won the Costa Book of the Year award and he had two consecutive novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Long Long Way (2005) and the top ten bestseller The Secret Scripture (2008).

His latest book, Old God’s Time, which was published on February 23, is a novel about memory, love, mystery and reckoning. Barry will be speaking at LitFest on Friday, September 29 at Marlborough Town Hall, in conversation with journalist and broadcaster Alex Clark.

Genevieve Clarke, chair of LitFest, said: “We’re very excited to be working with Fermoie and really appreciate their enthusiasm and support. It’s fabulous to see the quality of their fabrics designed and printed on our doorstep in Marlborough and there’s definitely a match between their creative approach and our ambitions for LitFest. Having Sebastian Barry as our Golding Speaker, with the support of William Golding Ltd, gets us all off to a good start.”

The festival will feature a varied programme of events for all ages including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and the annual Big Town Read.