Bolton Market has been named a finalist in the prestigious BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards.
The market, on Ashburner Street, is in the running for Best Food Market in the awards ceremony which Jamie Oliver has described as “the Oscars of the food world”.
The awards celebrate the people and organisations behind the best of British food.
Bolton Market has a growing reputation as the premier food market in the North West. It has won a string of awards over recent years including: 5 a day Supporter of the Year at the Re:fresh Awards, in May; Britain's Best Indoor Market Hall 2010 by the National Association of British Market Authorities; and Tourism Retailer of the Year at the Manchester Tourism Awards 2009.
The market boasts a number of famous fans including celebrity chefs The Hairy Bikers, Thomasina Miers and BBC Fusion chef Aazam Ahmad.
And a Danish delegation visited the market in May to get some ideas for a new indoor market in Copenhagen.
Other contenders for Best Food Market include East Oxford Farmers’ and Community Market, and Maltby Street, London.
The Food and Farming Awards will be held at the NEC, Birmingham on November 23, and hosted by presenter of The Food Programme, Sheila Dillon.
She will be joined by some of the biggest names in the food world including Rick Stein, James Martin and Angela Hartnett.
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Akhtar Zaman, said: “We’re really pleased to be shortlisted for this award. Bolton Market is one of Britain’s oldest food markets, and with almost 18,000 square foot of fresh food from exotic fruit and veg, to some of the region’s best fish it really is the one stop shopping destination for choice, quality and value.
“We had around 300 coach visits just to the market last year showing that in the current climate the market is proving popular with shoppers, both locally and further afield thanks to its produce at reasonable prices. As well as the range of produce, chefs in the cookery demo kitchen attract customers with their regular demos on how to create healthy, quick meals.
“The traders work incredibly hard to source the best produce and the friendly atmosphere they create makes the market a fantastic, easy place to shop. It’s an honour to be shortlisted for this award.”
Chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan chairs this year’s panel of judges which includes: farmer and Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson; school dinners champion, Jeanette Orrey; chef, Jeremy Lee; and food writer Charles Campion.
Chair of judges, Richard Corrigan, said: "The finalists on this list are cooks, farmers and food producers who all, in their own way, reflect where Britain is today, and what it can be in the future.
"These awards are invaluable for one simple reason; they help reconnect people with the story of the best of British food, where it comes from, how‘s it‘s made and who makes it.
“We boast some of the world’s best farmers, food producers and food entrepreneurs and so I hope when people hear more about the stories on this shortlist they’ll understand why it gives me some optimism for our future.”
The judges will be visiting Bolton Market in October. The indoor and outdoor market is open Tuesday and Thursday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm. The car boot market is open Sunday, 7.30am to 2pm.
The awards will be broadcast on Friday, November 25 at 12.05pm, and Sunday, November 28 and Monday, November 29 at 4pm.