Top Food Awards

8 June 2010

 Lancashire businesses recognised in top food awards

A spring water business, an ice cream farm; a brewery; a cookie specialist and a healthy dessert company are the Lancashire businesses short-listed for this year’s prestigious Food Northwest Awards.

Twelve of Lancashire’s fine food products are also named as winners in the Fine Food Northwest Awards 2010.

Organised by Food Northwest, the organisation set up by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to lead the food and drink industry, and to help to grow the Northwest regional economy, the Food Northwest Awards acknowledge business achievements, while the Fine Food Northwest Awards recognise the best fine foods in the region.

The Food Northwest Awards celebrate the successes of businesses across Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. They are in their fifth year, acknowledging companies from all areas of the industry, from farm to fork, including food retail and service, wholesale, distribution, food processing and agriculture. This year’s awards focus on the theme ‘Fabulous Food’ and highlight the diversity, energy, enthusiasm and sheer hard work of companies excelling in their sector, across the Northwest. Companies are short-listed in eight categories.*

The recently established King Henry VI Spring Water in Barrow by Bowland, is short-listed for a new award – the Food Northwest Award for Best New Regional Business. After just five months of trading, Lancashire’s King Henry VI Spring Water, is now supplying its bottled water nationwide and is planning to double its workforce in the next 12 months.

Mrs Dowson’s Ice Cream in Blackburn is short-listed for the Food Northwest Award for Excellence. Amanda Dowson or ‘Mrs Dowson’ and her family have milked cows for over 50 years, on the family farm situated in the Ribble Valley, and produce ice cream which is eaten across the country.

Vitorianos Gourmet Bakery is short-listed for the Food Northwest Award for International Trade, alongside Lancaster Brewery. Vitorianos is now exporting its premium, healthy baked goods to Portugal and Dubai. The company is also proud that it has been selected showcase its cookies at the Queen’s Birthday Party at the Ambassador’s Residence in Lisbon.

Lancaster Brewery is enjoying success at home and abroad, having recently secured a contract to export its beers to the USA. The company’s move to export its cask ales in bottles will help the company to invest more than £1 million in new purpose-built brewery, which will quadruple its production capacity.

Meanwhile, the winners of the Fine Food Northwest Awards,** which recognise the best fine foods in the region, were selected by a panel of ‘foodie’ experts, led by Lancashire’s own celebrity chef, Nigel Haworth,  at a full day’s tasting session held at Ewood Park in Blackburn (June 2, 2010).

A short-list of 41 ‘sub-category’ winners were recognised for their products, including Uncle Bobs and Hill’s Fine Food in Preston, Spout House Farm Shop in Chorley (for two products), Udale Speciality Foods in Morecambe, the Fence Gate Inn at Burnley, The Bowland Beer Company in Clitheroe, along with Port of Lancaster Smokehouse, J. Atkinson & Co and Trough of Bowland Spring Water Company, which are all based in Lancaster.

Two Lancashire companies picked up a coveted ‘category’ win, including The Farm Burscough, for its Lime Curd and grower, Wareings of Tarleton, for its Lettuce.

Cathy Grice, of The Farm Burscough, said: “We started making curds to use up eggs from our free range chickens, and we have now grown into a multi-award-winning farm shop, tea room and B&B. We are delighted to be recognised among the best producers in the region. “

These two category winners will now go forward with eight other companies, in two categories of the Food Northwest Business Awards – the Fine Food Producer of the Year Award and the Best New Northwest Speciality Product 2010.

All of the winners*** of the Food Northwest Awards 2010 will be announced at a Gala Awards dinner, hosted by Lucy Meacock of ITN and Granada TV, on Thursday June 24, 2010, at Manchester’s Midland Hotel.

The Northwest has one of the largest food and drink sectors in the UK, contributing £9.5 billion to the local economy, employing over 450,000 people and providing around 12 per cent of the region’s income.  The sector has been identified by the NWDA as a priority growth sector within the Regional Economic Strategy.

Pat Foreman, chief executive of Food Northwest, said: “We have been delighted with the response to our awards programme. We are very proud to be able to recognise the business achievements of our region’s food and drink companies, as well as the outstanding products they make here in the Northwest. A small amount of encouragement and support can be a catalyst for great success. The industry continues to thrive and the awards acknowledge the dedication and commitment it takes to produce the fabulous food that our region is famous for.”

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: "Food and drink businesses across the region make a vital contribution to our economic growth. The Northwest is not only the country’s largest food and drink-producing region it is also home to the UK’s highest concentration of food and drink manufacturing businesses, and a wealth of talented entrepreneurs. Awards such as these are a valuable recognition of those that are demonstrating a real commitment to excellence and achieving fantastic results. It is important during difficult economic times that we continue to recognise and award talent and quality in Northwest businesses."

The awards are sponsored by Barclays Commercial Bank; Business Link Northwest; solicitors, DWF; Enworks; climate fund, Foundations; Montpelier Chartered Accountants; Reaseheath College and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).  For further information about the awards visit or for information on how to obtain tickets for the Gala Awards Dinner call 01928 511011.


For further media information, contact Jeanette Riley Communications on 07740422996 or [email protected]

Issued:  June 4, 2010  

Notes to Editors

*The Food Northwest Awards – Winners will be announced on June 24, 2010. Background information on all of this year’s short-list is available upon request. The short-list is as follows:

  • The Food Northwest Award for Outstanding SME
    • 60 Hope Street Group – Liverpool, Merseyside
    • Appleby Bakery – Appleby, Cumbria
    • Cheshire Farm Ice Cream – Tattenhall, Cheshire
    • Clippy’s Apples – Sale, Greater Manchester
    • Hawkshead Brewery – Staveley, Cumbria
    • Manchester Rusk Company Ltd – Sharston, Greater Manchester


  • The Food Northwest Award for Innovation
    • Chestnut Meats – Tarporley, Cheshire
    • FTF Sweet Ltd – Salford, Greater Manchester
    • Worthenshaws Ltd – Preston, Lancashire
  • The Food Northwest Award for Skills
    • Advanced Food Safety Ltd –Wigan, Greater Manchester
    • Northern School of Asian & Oriental Cooking – Barrow in Furness, Cumbria
    • United Biscuits – Carlisle, Cumbria


  • The Food Northwest award for International Trade
    • Advanced Food Safety – Wigan, Great Manchester
    • Lancaster Brewery – Lancaster, Lancashire
    • Vitorianos Gourmet Bakery – Preston, Lancashire
  • The Food Northwest Award Green Business Award
    • Deliciously Wild – Penrith, Cumbria
    • Goodlife Foods Ltd – Warrington, Cheshire
    • Little Salkeld Watermill – Penrith, Cumbria
    • The Authentic Food Company – Sharston, Greater Manchester
    • United Biscuits – Carlisle, Cumbria
  • The Food Northwest award for Social Responsibility
    • Warburtons Ltd – Bolton, Greater Manchester
    • Typhoo – Wirral, Merseyside
    • United Biscuits – Carlisle, Cumbria
    • Riverford on Stockley Farm – Knutsford, Cheshire

The Food Northwest Excellence Award

    • Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall – Penrith, Cumbria
    • Hawkshead Brewery – Staveley, Cumbria
    • More? The Artisan Bakery – Staveley, Cumbria
    • Mrs Dowsons Ice Cream – Blackburn, Lancashire


  • The Food Northwest Best New Regional Business Award
    • Harappa Ltd – Hyde, Cheshire
    • King Henry VI Spring Water – Bolton by Bowland, Lancashire
    • Riverford on Stockley Farm – Knutsford, Cheshire
    • Worthenshaws Ltd – Preston, Lancashire



**The Fine Food Northwest Awards recognise the best fine foods produced across the Northwest.

The 41 ‘sub category’ winners were selected at a judging day held at Ewood Park on June 2 and include fine food products from across Lancashire.  A full list covering all the sub category winners is available upon request.

***The ten overall category winners of the Fine Food Northwest Awards are:

1. Chutneys and Preserves

The Farm Burscough – Lime Curd

Burscough, Lancashire

2. Prepared Meals

Cranstons Quality Butchers – Lentil and Ham Soup

Penrith – Cumbria

3.Baked Goods

Alison’s Home Made – Stem Ginger Biscuits

Sandbach, Cheshire

4. Dairy

Scoop! Ice Cream Cafe – Rich Chocolate Indulgence Ice Cream

Warrington, Cheshire

5. Fresh Meat

Deliciously Wild – Venison Medallions

Penrith, Cumbria

6. Cured and Cooked Meat

Brough’s of Birkdale Dry Sweet Cure with Sunflower Honey Bacon

Birkdale, Merseyside

7. Sausages

Shaw Meats – Pork and Sun-dried Tomato Sausage

Wigton, Cumbria

8. Fish and Seafood

Southport Seafoods – Genuine Southport Potted Shrimps in Butter

Southport , Merseyside

9. Beverages

Halal Kitchen Ltd  – Mango Lassi

Prestwich, Manchester

10. Fruit and Vegetables

Wareings of Tarleton – Lettuce

Tarleton, Lancashire

The winners of these ten categories will form the shortlist for the two Food Northwest Awards – the ‘Fine Food Producer of the Year Award 2010’ and the ‘Best New Northwest Speciality Product 2010’, which will be announced alongside the other Food Northwest Awards 2010 at the gala dinner held at the Manchester Midland Hotel on June 24, 2010.

Food Northwest aims to help businesses in the sector maximise their economic potential and increase productivity and output, working with all parts of the sector, including food retail and service, wholesale, distribution, food processing and agriculture.

The organisation is co-ordinating a five-year Northwest Food and Drink strategy, which has six priorities, focusing on the key themes of market development, productivity and skills, healthy eating, environmental sustainability, sustainable farming and food and the image of the industry.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) works to deliver economic success in England’s Northwest by building the competitiveness of its businesses, people and places. Utilising its technical expertise and strategic influence, it help the region’s 250,000+ businesses to develop and grow, as well as supporting international trade and encouraging inward investment


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