THE organisers of eat:Festivals are offering support to new businesses to help them to make their first steps into trading.

The bursary, which is sponsored by Thatchers Cider, aims to encourage business start-ups to consider festival trading and is for food and drink producers who have not engaged in retail trade before.

Sarah Milner Simonds, co-organiser of eat:Festivals, said: "We want local businesses to benefit from the festival.

"By partnering with Thatchers Cider we are able to offer a chance for 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.”

The successful businesses will benefit from a free pitch at the festival and there is support from the organisers throughout the year.

Bev Milner Simonds, joint festival director said: “The scheme is designed to encourage business start-up and self-employment within the local area.

"Interested businesses need to complete the simple form on our website and we hope that this will be seized on by new traders.”

Martin Thatcher of Thatchers Cider said the company was 'delighted' to support the festival organisers in offering the bursary.

He said: “eat:Festivals does a fantastic job in bringing the local food and drink experience to people in Somerset with this unique brand of festivals.

"By providing a bursary to ten first time traders throughout 2019 we are delighted to help encourage the entrepreneurial spirit amongst Somerset’s fantastic food and drink producers.”

Carly Westcott of Coo-coo-ca-choo Gourmet Cupcakes is a previous recipient of the bursary and said trading at the festival last year helped to boost her company.

"I was so excited to received this Bursary in 2018 to trade at eat:Portishead festival, the doors this opened for me were great and really useful.

"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.

"We had a brilliant days trade and the feedback was tremendous."

Applications for the bursary need to be in before April 13.

For more information about the bursary or the festivals visit .