Small Cumbrian producers will be able to showcase their talents thanks to a new attraction at this year’s Taste Cumbria food festival in Cockermouth.

The event will play host to a ‘makers’ market’ which is designed to promote the county’s littlest artisan businesses.

For the first time the festival organisers are opening up an array of stalls to non-food businesses as part of a raft of changes to the event’s line-up in its 10th year.

Event organiser Anna Chippendale said: “We’re really excited about expanding what’s on offer at this year’s Taste Cumbria festival.

"We see this makers’ market as a greenhouse for small producers who are just starting out or those who currently only create their products on a tiny scale - it’s about helping those fledgling businesses which haven’t exhibited in the main producers’ market before.

“It’s about helping them show off their skills to new customers who, hopefully, will keep coming back for more, and it’s about letting them test the market with their products. They’ll be able to see what sells and get the feedback of a whole new audience.

“Places will be very limited so any small producers who want to apply should get in touch as soon as possible.”

Taste Cumbria takes place on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, with launch events on the Friday night.

The makers’ market will be held in Cockermouth’s Market Place which will also be the venue for a street party on the Saturday night of the festival.

Local food businesses will be selling their wares and there will be music and street entertainers around a picnic area.

Elsewhere in town, there will be the big producers’ market for established food businesses on Main Street, while on Memorial Gardens Taste Cumbria will be combined with the Northbound music festival.

Local bands will play live on the Northbound stage, there’ll be hot food stands, the festival bar with ales from Workington’s Tractor Shed Brewery and a rum bar too.

There will also be Friday night comedy, food and drink demonstrations and masterclasses from some great chefs and producers, and then the party will continue into the night on Saturday with bands in Cockermouth’s pubs as part of the Northbound collaboration.

The Taste Cumbria food festivals are now organised by Allerdale Borough Council in association with Taste Cumbria magazine and Cumbria Life and their publisher Newsquest.

Councillor Mark Jenkinson, deputy leader and Executive member for economic growth, said: “As a council, we’re keen to support small businesses as much as we can so this new makers’ market will be a great feature at Taste Cumbria this year.

"There’s a wealth of talent in Allerdale and Cumbria as a whole so it’s going to be great to see what new products will be on offer.”

Small producers should email or call 01900 702969 for more details.