Bolton Market has won a prestigious BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Award.
The market, on Ashburner Street, won ‘Best Food Market’ in the awards ceremony this afternoon which Jamie Oliver has described as "the Oscars of the food world". (See website link right to BBC 4 site.)
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 were East Oxford Farmers’ and Community Market, and Maltby Street, London.
The Food and Farming Awards were held at the NEC, Birmingham today, November 23, and hosted by presenter of The Food Programme, Sheila Dillon. She was 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 delighted to have won 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.
"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 win this award and I am sure all the traders will be celebrating the success and the part they have played in it."
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. The judges,
Kath Dalmeny and Jeremy Lee, visited 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.
Speaking just after the ceremony, Sheila Dillon said: "Bolton’s market is completely brilliant … a perfect example of the way a town centre market can make a difference to a society, with fantastic food and knowledgeable traders.
"Shopping in supermarkets is not a lot of fun. But when the judges came to Bolton they found the shopping in Bolton Market was such a pleasure.
"I come from Houghton and the markets of the North West are part of my childhood, which makes me doubly thrilled that Bolton has won."
Judge Jeremy Lee added: "Bolton Market makes great use of an impressive and fabulous building – whatever you fancy you’ll find it there. When I visited I found a wonderful dynamic energy and diversity which was largely down to the people who were visiting the market and the traders who work there. Congratulations!"
The awards will be broadcast on Friday, November 25 at 12.05pm, Sunday, November 28 and Monday, November 29 both at 4pm.
Ronnie Semley, Media Team, Bolton Council, Tel: 01204 331084