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

Blackburn-based Piemezzanae and Rawtenstall’s The Cottage by Haddocks walked away with respective gold and silver awards at this year's British Pie Awards, while Mill Town Pies in Nelson was runner up and highly commended for its chicken and mushroom pie.

Zainab Bilal from Piemezzanae, won the Hot Eating Savoury Pie Class, beating all other competitors in that category, with her cheese and onion bake.

She said: “Our vision was to put Blackburn on the culinary food map and we have achieved that with a very Lancashire pie.

“We want to celebrate everything our town has to offer as we are steeped between old and new history and a changing diverse landscape which is reflected in our pies.”

Mrs Bilal, who also owns the Pie Heroes brand, has been honoured to serve her crusty filled delights at the Houses of Parliament, star in the BBC documentary Life of Pies, and even create the bespoke ‘hangover’ pie for the mayor of Blackburn.

She added: “We are so proud to represent Blackburn, and we have our eyes set on the Supreme Championship Cup in the next few years.”

The Cottage by Haddocks, previously known as the Cottage Chippy, scooped a silver for its steak pie.

Owner Chris Haddock, and his apprentice Rayanne Stansfield, entered the pie due to its popularity with customers.

Mr Haddock said: “Out of a selection of eight pies, the classic steak pie is a customer favourite and has been right from the start. It’s our first year at the awards and we wanted to have a real presence there, and we’ll be at The World Meat Pie Championships in Barnoldswick in April.”

Mill Town Pies walked away with a highly commended award for its chicken and mushroom pie, as well as two medals for steak and blue cheese and all-day breakfast pies.

The awards saw a whopping 848 pies entered from 160 professional pie makers.