THE Dorset Echo has been announced as one of the main media partners for this year’s Dorset Seafood Festival.

The seventh annual Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival will take place on Weymouth harbourside on July 12 and 13.

Last year, over 50,000 people packed the streets and the harbourside to see more than 90 stands, enjoy the Champagne and seafood and watch demonstrations from top chefs.

Toby Granville, group editor of the Dorset Echo, said: “We are thrilled to be one of the main media partners of the Dorset Seafood Festival – and we look forward to providing our readers with great coverage of this event in the Dorset Echo newspaper and online on our website

“This is one of the premier events in the county’s calendar, going from strength to strength each year while raising thousands for the Fishermen’s Mission and we’re proud to be part of it.”

Other sponsors include Pommery Champagne, Piddle Brewery, ARA Wines, Weird Fish and Lloyds Bank, with Dorset Dream Cottages and Penn Castle as competition sponsors.

Brian Cooper, Dorset Seafood Director, added: “We’re delighted at this news and are very appreciative of the Dorset Echo’s coverage for this award winning event.

“While enjoyment is at the heart of the event we are also committed to raising funds for our chosen charity The Fishermen’s Mission.

“Last year we were able to raise £7973 and the aim is to beat this for 2014.

“Fishermen have had a tough start to the year with the UK storms. The Fishermen’s Mission has launched an emergency appeal to help them and we hope to support them in their task.”

The event started in 2008 and attracted the sponsorship of Pommery Champagne in 2010.

In 2013 it was judged Britain’s fourth Best Food Festival by the Independent newspaper.

The festival also scooped a silver award for tourism event of the year at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards back in January.