THE first chief executive of the Abergavenny Food Festival is stepping down fromhis role after four years at the helm.

Kim Waters, who lives near Abergavenny but grew up in Newport, will bow out after the festival’s Christmas Fair in December to concentrate on other business interests.

The former senior executive with Reuters moved back to Abergavenny in 2008 to become the first chief executive of the festival the following year.

Mr Waters, who notified the board of his intention to stand down two months ago, said it will be a wrench to leave but pledged to continue to be involved in some way at next year’s event.

He said: “I saw the job advertised and thought it would be fun and it has not disappointed.

I absolutely love and am passionate about the food festival but the role requires a lot of time and dedication.

“With my team we have continued to build on the fantastic success story that is the Abergavenny Food Festival.”

The annual festival has brought more than a quarter of a million visitors to Monmouthshire since it was launched in 1999.

This year it attracted more than 30,000 visitors to the town, who browsed more than 200 stalls across five venues and enjoyed masterclasses and talks served up by top food and drink writers and chefs.

He added: “It just keeps getting better, continuing to grow into an event that attracts top chefs and food enthusiasts from around the globe. I will be saddened to go but will be involved in some way at next year’s event and will be on hand to offer any help to my successor.”