Hay to open own bookshop

The Hay Festival is to open its own bookshop at the event this spring, having previously worked with local shop, Pembertons.

Pembertons closed in 2012 and its owner Diana Blunt has retired, with the Hay Festival organisers now taking the "Hay Festival Bookshop" in-house. Gareth Howell-Jones, previously of Waterstones Leadenhall Market, Swansea and Islington, will be running the bookshop.

Howell-Jones said: "The bookshop is always a central part of the Hay Festival experience, giving festival-goers the chance to meet their favourite authors and vice versa. It's informal, it's relaxed and it's huge fun. We're eagerly looking forward to this new venture."

Meanwhile, Mary Byrne, acting PR director at HarperCollins Children's, will programme the Hay Festival's children's strand, Hay Fever, this year.

Byrne said: "I am very much looking forward to working with the Hay team. It is thrilling to have the opportunity to help grow and develop what is already the best literary festival in the UK-and possibly the world."

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festivals, said: "It's taken a while, but it's well worth the wait. We've got our dream director. Mary deepens our resources and knowledge hugely. She's exactly the woman to make Hay more adventurous and better fun."

The Hay Festival will run from 23rd May to 2nd June this year.