RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans has thrown his weight behind efforts to run a scaled down Clitheroe Food Festival in September.

The annual event, normally held in August and based around Castle Street and the market, was cancelled for the second year running earlier this month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But now newly-elected West Bradford and Grindleton Conservative Cllr Kevin Horkin has vowed to save it with a slimmed-down festival in September to be held on Clitheroe market car park as well as the adjacent street.

The event traditionally draws thousands of visitors to the town.

Mr Evans said: “The Ribble Valley economy relies heavily on the hospitality sector, and holding even a scaled back food festival would be a tremendous jab in the arm for local businesses.

“While I understand there is still some uncertainty about the end of lockdown, other festivals such as the Royal Lancashire Show are still going ahead

"Local councillors, businesses and volunteer are keen for the festival to go ahead, and they have my full support in trying to ensure that our fantastic food festival isn’t disrupted for a second year in a row.

“The economic recovery from Covid-19 will take time, and holding the food festival would be the first step on the long road for local businesses to regain their strength.

"I am hopeful that we can build on this in the future, so that the festival can be extended to a multiple day festival."