Eat: Festivals team up with Thatchers Cider to launch business bursary

PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 January 2018

Beverley and Sarah Milner Simonds (top) have teamed up with Thatchers' boss Martin Thatcher (left) to offer bursaries to start up businesses. Picture: Eat: Festivals/Thatchers Cider.

Beverley and Sarah Milner Simonds (top) have teamed up with Thatchers' boss Martin Thatcher (left) to offer bursaries to start up businesses. Picture: Eat: Festivals/Thatchers Cider.

Archant

The organisers of the Eat: Weston-super-Mare and Eat: Burnham-on-Sea food festivals have teamed up with Thatchers Cider to help people starting their own business to develop by offering a bursary.

Sarah and Beverley Milner Simonds have launched a bursary scheme at the festivals to encourage new businesses to start up.

The bursary will include a free pitch at the food festival as well as support from the duo and their designers throughout the year.

Sarah 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 to take 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 bursary, sponsored by the fourth generation Somerset cider-maker, is for food and drink producers who have not engaged in retail trade before.

Thatchers Cider managing director Martin Thatcher said: “When my great-grandfather first started making and selling cider, he did so on his own with a determination to succeed.

“No doubt had there been a local food festival in Sandford at the turn of the 19th century he would have been there.

“We are delighted to support Eat: Festivals through this bursary to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit among our fantastic food and drink producers in Somerset.”

Sarah Welland from Berrow Beef & Lamb is a previous benefactor from one of the duo’s food festivals and said the bursary was a ‘massive boost’ for her team in the early stages.

She added: “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 on being at every future festival.”

Beverley said: “Interested businesses need to complete the simple form on our website and we hope this will be seized by new traders.”

Eat: Weston is due to take place in the Italian Gardens on April 7 from 9am to 5pm.

Applicants should visit www.eatfestivals.org for more information.

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