THE first ever Taste Lancashire food and drink conference is heading to East Lancashire this year.

Taste Lancashire 2017 will bring together groups from the hospitality industry to inspire and celebrate Lancashire’s food economy with the county’s food & drink sector.

Food writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner will be the event's key note speaker with further speakers set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

There will also be a Taste Exchange Market, showcasing some of Lancashire’s new and export-focused food businesses.

Holmes Mill, based in Clitheroe, will be the venue for the event.

The new £10million development is owned by Lancashire-based hospitality group James’ Places, who renovated the building.

The former textile mill is comprised of a beer hall which houses what is believed to be the longest bar in the North of England.

The building also includes the Bowland Brewery, function rooms, café and food hall, as well as a 38-bedroom hotel which is due to open late summer.

Marketing Lancashire, who announced the plans, have worked with the Department for International Trade to set the event up.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said: “Lancashire food and drink is amongst the best in the world.

"Our Taste Lancashire event aims to bring together the food and drink community, in all its forms.

"We are very proud of our food heritage and those who ensure our great food traditions continue.

"It is a key strength of ours and an important part of the Lancashire story.

"We hope to increase the profile of our incredible food and drink offer, grow business and attract more visitors to Lancashire."

Food and drink is worth around £734 million to Lancashire’s visitor economy, which has grown by £129 million over the last six years.

The sector also supports an estimated 13,000 food and drink related jobs in Lancashire.

The event will take place on September 6 from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

Tickets have been priced at £40, which will include lunch and refreshments.

These can be bought online at