VETERAN broadcaster and author Melvyn Bragg has thrown his support behind a returning book festival that was lost during Covid. 

The Words by the Water Festival of Words and Ideas is all set to reanimate Keswick from June 5 to June 9, 2024 - made up of 50 different events. 

Celebrating its triumphant return, the festival is scheduled to start with beloved and prolific author Alexander McCall Smith at the Theatre by the Lake on Friday May 10, with tickets available for purchase now. 

Melvyn Bragg, who is once again lending his support to the event, expressed excitement regarding the event's return. 

"I am thrilled that the festival is returning against the odds after a number of challenging years.

"It has been a very difficult time across the board in the arts and it is important for Cumbria that cultural events such as Words by the Water continue and thrive."

The festival will also hold a special appeal this year through the involvement of Melvyn Bragg's daughter, teacher and writer, Marie-Elsa Bragg, who returns as co-director of the event. 

“I am looking forward to continuing in the role of president and know that the festival has a bright future.

"Leah and the team have lots of innovative and exciting plans moving forward and also will continue to deliver thought-provoking and interesting talks at Words by the Water.

"I am delighted to be part of the project as the festival grows and moves from strength to strength.”

One development in its year of absence is the new collaboration between local independent bookshop Bookends and festival organisers. 

Bookends director Lucy Matthews said: "For over 20 years, selling books at the Words by the Water festival has been an annual highlight for Bookends.

"We know how much our customers look forward to Words by the Water in Keswick so we are delighted to welcome the festival back to the community." 

Tickets will be on sale from April 22 for general booking by calling the box office 017687 74411 or online