EAST Lancashire’s best bakers are to put their skills to the test in a special Valentine’s Day challenge with a little help from celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.

The ‘Love Barnoldswick’ event will be held in the town’s square on Tuesday, February 14, where competitors will be cooking their way to victory using a cast iron stove oven supplied by Esse, which has its foundry in the town.

The stove has been a regular visitor to Channel 4’s River Cottage featuring the celebrity chef.

Town centre manager Hanna Latty said: “Some of Barnoldswick’s keenest cooks are challenging each other over who can bake the most romantic gift.

“We are also encouraging budding bakers of any age to enter a separate challenge.

“They’re invited to design or decorate their own cake or cupcake in a Valentine’s Day theme.

“Entries will be judged by a popular vote – so the quirkier, the better!"

The event will also see the joint launch of a glossy Visit Barnoldswick guide and the Visit Barnoldswick website.

Coun David Whipp said: “Barnoldswick is ranked as having the second highest proportion of independent traders in the country.

“That’s why we want to encourage local people to be loyal to local businesses because they all offer something extra special.

“Barlick is like no other town.

“Our friendly little town is bursting with independent, individual and locally owned family run shops.”