THE organisers of Eat:Burnham have been shortlisted as finalists in two categories at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds' small business, Eat:Festivals, which stages five free food and drink festivals each year, has been shortlisted for the Responsible Ethical and Sustainable Tourism Award and the Tourism Event/Festival of the Year at the awards which aim to recognise the achievements of small and micro-businesses across the South West.

Bev Milner-Simonds, co-organiser of eat:Burnham, said: "It's brilliant news to have made it through to the finals of the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

"We worked really hard to put on fantastic free days out in nine town centres across Somerset, to have our work and that of the fantastic producers and production crew that we work with recognised by these awards cannot be underestimated."

The small business launched in 2012 and their food festival in Burnham takes place twice a year with more than 20,000 people attending each one.

In 2016, the business took over the well-established Wellington Festival and introduced the 'Young Makers Market' which offers free pitches to new business owners aged 16 to 24 and a bursary for new food and drink businesses attending the event.

And last month the duo won a gold award in the Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism and a gold award for the Tourism event/Festival of the Year and the Winner of Winners Award at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards.

Mrs Milner-Simonds said the eat:Festivals team have been working hard this year to make changes to ensure their festivals are more sustainable and said she is hopeful they will come home with a trophy.

"The competition to get this far it’s been immense," Mrs Milner-Simonds said.

"We are especially pleased that our changes and improvements to our sustainability - including transport choices, waste management and procurement recognised is really welcome, our festivals have ability to make an impact and we want that impact to be a positive one on the communities we work with."

Up to six finalists have been announced in each category but they will have to wait until February 7 to learn whether they have won gold, silver or bronze trophies at a black tie dinner event at Aerospace Bristol.