Bolton Food and Drink Festival has scooped a coveted national award for having the best food market in the country.
The festival won the ‘Best Food Market’ category at the British Market of the Year Awards in Birmingham today (Thursday, January 26).
The competition is organised by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA), and the winner was judged by a panel of industry experts.
Bolton Food and Drink Festival is organised by Bolton Council, in association with sponsors, and the four day foodie spectacular takes place annually on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The event sees celebrity chefs delivering cookery demonstrations in the town centre, amid a backdrop of artisan food stalls, children’s activities and free street entertainment.
The 2016 festival attracted a record breaking quarter of a million visitors. Visitors travelled from as far afield as France and all across the UK to sample food and drink from 180 traders, and watch top chefs in action.
The market opens daily throughout the festival and takes over the town centre, with stalls located on Victoria Square, Newport Street, Oxford Street, Deansgate, Market Street, Corporation Street and Le Mans Crescent.
Foodie highlights in 2016 included: Great Britain’s best sausages, award winning cheese, 2016 Apprentice winner Alana Spencer’s brownies, and amazing burgers from Almost Famous’ Wondertruck.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “The range and quality of our many traders for last year's festival was incredible, and we’re delighted to win this award.
“The festival is hugely popular with traders and a lot of them ask to come back year on year. We attract some great local and regional producers as well as from all over the country including York, Somerset, Isle of Wight, London.
“Bolton Food and Drink Festival really is up there with the best in the country. We are already working on our plans for 2017 and looking forward to delivering another fantastic festival.”
NABMA President, Councillor Chris Rosling-Josephs, said: "NABMA is delighted with the continuing success of its The Great British Market Awards.
“Once again we have demonstrated that markets have many success stories to celebrate and we will use these positive messages to promote the value of markets."
Sponsors of the 2016 festival were: Aldi; University of Bolton; Market Place Shopping Centre; Stateside Foods, Willmott Dixon and Old Pulteney. Partners are: Arts Council; Bolton College; Bolton Market; KRO; Octagon Theatre; Slattery, and Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club.