The organisers of Burnham-On-Sea’s Food and Drink festivals are celebrating again after scooping a host of prizes at national, regional and local award ceremonies.
The Burnham-based organisation behind ‘Eat: Festivals’ was named “Best Food Market” in the UK at the National Association of British Market Authorities Great British Market Awards last week in Birmingham.
NABMA’s citation said that “Food and drink continues to be a focus for markets to remain relevant. The winner of Best Food Market, eat:Festivals, continues to drive footfall and put back into their community with youth initiatives and emphasis on local produce in Somerset.”
High Streets Minister Jake Berry said at the event: “Thriving markets are crucial to the prosperity of Britain’s high streets, their local economies and also make an important contribution to the vitality of our communities. They can also offer invaluable start-up opportunities for budding entrepreneurs keen to trial new ideas and products.”
It follows an outstanding achievement of a Silver award at the South West England Tourism Excellence Awards on 1st February in Torquay in the ‘Tourism Event/Festival of the Year’ category. The team collected their award from the Met Office’s Andy Yeatman, an apt choice considering the massive storm that blew in during last October’s Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival.
On Saturday the pair were also shortlisted for their commitment to Weston-super-Mare and engagement in the local community and as “Businesses Women of the Year” at the 5th Weston Business Awards. They won in the second category.
In an emotional address, festival organiser Bev Milner Simonds said: “It is customary to thank those who support you in your achievements when accepting an award, we both wanted to say that we stand on the shoulders of giants – our mothers, who inspire daily in our drive to achieve more for the local producers we work with.”
Co-organsier Sarah Milner Simonds added: “We are striving to build a sustainable face-to-face trading interactions for producers from a wide rural area, enabling them to connect with an increasingly urban consumer group.”
“Our work helps rural businesses grow and provides great marketing of the five great towns we are pleased to be hosted by. We extend our thanks to everyone who nominates us, the producers who work with us, the sponsors who back us and the thousands of visitors who come along and make each festival so memorable.”
Next on the agenda is the judging visit from the Countryside Alliance Awards where the team are one of only two named as South West England Finalists across all categories from Somerset. They will be judged in the Rural Enterprise category and this will be annouced in March, with the winners going forward to the national ‘Rural Oscars’.