One of Harrogate’s oldest family firms, Hubert Swainson, has become a Premier Partner of Harrogate International Festivals.

Hubert Swainson’s Funeral Services have been at the heart of the local community for almost 140 years. The Premier Partner scheme invites businesses to support the Festival’s year-round delivery. The arts charity relies on ticket sales, sponsor support and philanthropy to deliver world-class events in Harrogate, with less than 1.5% of funding from public money.

Geoffrey Brewster, owner and manager of Hubert Swainson, said: “As a family firm of such long standing, we’ve supported many people in Harrogate during the most challenging time any of us will face, dealing with bereavement. Harrogate International Festivals have been going for over half a century, and their cultural offer and engagement with generations young and old, resonates with our values. The Arts are life-affirming, and I think music and literature play an important role in our lives, as well as helping us all live life to the full, so we’re proud to support the charity and its work for generations to come.”

Geoffrey Brewster has been with Hubert Swainson for 40 years, working for much of that time with his father-in-law, Hubert Swainson, who built up the company that continues today. Hubert served in the RAF in World War Two, and returned to work with his father, Ernest Swainson, who originally established the business as a cabinetmaker, carpenter and funeral director having worked alongside his father William Swainson in their premises on Oxford Street.

Sharon Canavar, CEO of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Hubert Swainson as a Premier Partner. They are one of the pillars of Harrogate’s community, with strong family values, and their support of our charity is extremely valued. In times of public sector cuts, The Arts are often the first to go. Premier Partners from the business community are helping us to keep Harrogate’s cultural offer vibrant.”