THREE East Lancashire firms have been recognised as some of the best pie-makers in the country at a national awards ceremony.

At the British Pie Awards, Blackburn-based Piemezzanae was highly commended for its calzone pie or - “Pie Hero” as the business affectionately dubs its pies – within the chicken pie class.

Then a beef bourguignon pie by newcomers Mill Town Pies in Nelson was praised with a highly commended award within the beef and any flavour combination pie class.

And last, but certainly not least, Mark Harrison Butcher of Rawtenstall, which prides itself on sourcing locally produced meats, supporting local farmers, took home the highly commended award for its meat and potato pie.

Zainab Bilal, owner of Piemezzanae, was still ecstatic about the award.

She said: “I am still really buzzing and it was great to get that accolade.

“When I set the business up I wanted to put Blackburn on the map. I was eager to enter the awards and it was great to be named as one of the best in the country."

Meanwhile, Jonny Russell of Mill Town Pies, said: “It was good as we only set the business at the end of October.

“It is nice to get recognition as you always are doubting yourself when you make them yourself.

“I hope it will be a stepping stone for other things.

“You just have to keep improving and coming up with new ideas.”

Caron Harrison, who deals with the pie side of operations at Mark Harrison Butchers, said: “We were really pleased, it has taken a lot of hard work.

“There were thousands of pies by 176 producers being judged across Great Britain and to find out that we were in the top three in categories was great.

“We don’t like to blow our own trumpet but it will spur us on to go back next year.”