THE Burnham Food and Drink Festival has launched its Festival Bursary - offering up to five free trading pitches at the event on May 24.

Festival Director Sarah Milner Simonds said: “Through the Food and Drink festival we have shown our commitment to supporting local traders to build sustainable businesses and now we want to help new businesses make their first steps into trading.”

Fellow director Beverley Milner Simonds said: “We are providing up to five discretionary bursary awards for pitches at the May Food and Drink festival.

“We had a great footfall (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, The Chilli Alchemist, Jay Webley, said: “I was so pleased to be offered a bursary as it provided me with an opportunity to start building my customer base.

“Having invested heavily, the financial respite was most welcome and a brilliant idea that should be encouraged and adopted by other event organisers.

“I had a great day trading at the last year's festival; the feedback from customers was great and the support from other traders really encouraged me.”

The bursary is for food and drink producers who have not sold directly to the public before.

Applications need to be in before March 14 and can be downloaded from