EAST Lancashire’s annual food festival will be ‘bigger and better than ever’ this year, organisers have promised.

Bosses are currently putting the finishing touches to the fifth annual event, set to take place across the region between August 8 and September 18.

And they have pledged it will be even bigger than 2009’s festival, which lured 45,000 tourists to East Lancashire and boosted the economy by £1.75million.

The Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food and Culture will include 60 events, with 10 organised in each of East Lancashire’s six boroughs.

Organisers aim to mix culture and food at some of the area’s most prominent locations, including Ewood Park, Towneley Hall in Burnley and Barrowford’s Pendle Heritage Centre.

The mouthwatering roster of events is designed to showcase East Lancashire’s enviable food heritage.

Festival boss Jacqui Livesey said: “Last year we had 60 events across 600 square miles in Pennine Lancashire, and this year we are hoping the festival will be even bigger and better.

“This is our fifth annual festival and there are lots of things to bring people in.

“One of the main things is that the success of the event absolutely helps the image of Pennine Lancashire.

“We have got some fantastic food and great culture here and the idea of the festival is to bring that to the fore.”

The 60-event programme is likely to kick off on Sunday, August 8 with a food show at Ewood Park presented by Nigel Haworth, the Michelin-starred chef behind Langho’s Northcote restaurant and hotel.

The event will include demonstrations by Mr Howarth as well as activities for children.

In recent years, gastropubs and restaurants, many of which lie in the picturesque Ribble Valley, have lured visitors to East Lancashire.

However, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, which is organising the food festival, hopes tourists will also discover the fine cuisine and culture on offer in the region’s less celebrated boroughs.