The organisers of Burnham-On-Sea’s Food and Drink Festival have launched a new bursary scheme offering up to five free trading pitches at the Spring festival on 23rd May.

The Bursary is aimed at helping local food and drink producers who have not engaged in retail trade before.

Festival Director Sarah Milner Simonds said: “Through the Food and Drink Festival we have shown our commitment to supporting local traders build sustainable businesses and now we want to help new businesses make their first steps into trading. We recognise we have an opportunity to assist in developing the skills, abilities and knowledge of all food and drink producers.”

Fellow Festival Director Beverley Milner Simonds added: “The scheme is designed to encourage business start-up and self-employment within Somerset. We are providing up to five discretionary bursary awards for pitches at the May Food and Drink festival.”

“We had a great footfall of over 7,000 at each of the 2014 festivals and we hope that opportunity will be seized on by new traders.”

One of last year’s benefactors, Berrow Beef, Sarah Welland, said: “Being awarded a bursary to attend the October 2014 festival was a massive boost for us during the early stages of establishing Berrow Beef.”

“We had access to expert advice on how to get the best out of the day, free publicity, as well as being able to trade for free. Due to the huge success it turned out to be (both in terms of sales on the day and follow up business), we intend being at every future festival!”

The trader may have been producing and selling direct to restaurant or a business but not direct to the public. Applications need to be in before 14 March and can be submitted here.

Pictured: Top, Sarah and Richard Welland with son Max from Berrow Beef