A CALL has gone out for the best food and drink producers county-wide and beyond to apply for pitches at this year’s Clitheroe Food Festival.

The award-winning event, hailed as one of the best food festivals in the UK, will take place on Saturday, August 10, and more than 100 stalls are up for grabs.

The festival attracts thousands of food enthusiasts from across the UK, along with a serving of fringe events ­— from producer talks and tastings to street entertainment and treasure hunts.

Last year, the Ribble Valley Council-funded festival’s future was secured for 2019, with councillors voting to continue running the festival despite it operating at a small loss.

In 2016, the festival made the council more than £5,000 but in 2017, the festival cost £8,177 while last year it cost ran at a £2,660 deficit after income and expenditure was taken into account.

It had been expected to make a loss in the region of £15,000 because no sponsorship money had been budgeted for.

There remains £15,137 in the earmarked reserve to fund future food festivals.

And at a community services meeting, councillors said they were delighted with the way the 2018 festival had gone and congratulated the head of cultural and leisure services, Mark Beveridge, on a job well done.

It was felt that the member working group that had been set up to help find sponsorship for the event should continue their work.

The committee agreed to the council staging the Clitheroe Food Festival in 2019 and asked the member working group again to work with officers in attracting sponsorship for next year’s event.

Last year, the free event featured a huge array of delicacies for sale including organic dairy products, meat from traditional Lancashire breeds, Asian treats, Thai pies, Biltong beef and fresh fruit and vegetables.

It included several with a national reputation, including Baxter’s Potted Shrimps, Choc Amor, Dewlay Cheesemakers, Fatjax Chutney, Mr Fitzpatrick’s Vintage Cordials, Leagram Organic Dairy and R. S. Ireland’s Black Puddings.