Rayner is keynote speaker at first-ever Lancashire food and drink conference

FOOD writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner has been announced as keynote speaker for the first-ever Taste Lancashire food and drink conference.

Developed by Marketing Lancashire in partnership with the Department for International Trade, it will take place on Wednesday, September 6, at Holmes Mill, a vibrant food destination inside a former textile mill in Clitheroe.

Taste Lancashire 2017 will bring together food entrepreneurs, retail bosses, agricultural leaders, international trade experts and influencers from the hospitality industry to challenge, inspire and celebrate Lancashire’s food economy with the county’s food and drink sector.

In addition to case studies, expert panels and debates on the future of Lancashire food and drink, there will be a Taste Exchange Market, showcasing some of Lancashire’s new and export-focused food businesses.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Lancashire food and drink is amongst the best in the world, it is a key strength of ours and an important part of the Lancashire story. We are very proud of our food heritage and those who ensure our great food traditions continue.

‘A must-visit foodie destination’

“We are also quick to champion those entrepreneurs who create new and exciting products that inspire our palates, help sustain our local economy and attract visitors to our hospitable and welcoming county.

“Through our Taste Lancashire campaign this event aims to bring together the food and drink community, in all its forms, from farmer and producer to retailer and restaurateur, as we explore what it is that makes a place a must-visit foodie destination, hear more about export opportunities, and learn ways that together, will increase the profile of our incredible food and drink offer, grow business and attract more visitors to Lancashire.”

Lynne Gillen, International Trade Team Leader for the Department for International Trade, added: “It is a real pleasure to be working in partnership with Marketing Lancashire to champion the region’s talented food and drink companies.

“By sharing the experiences of companies already active in international markets, this event will demystify the process of selling overseas and open up a whole world of opportunity for Lancashire.”

Holmes Mill is a new £10m development by Lancashire-based hospitality group James’ Places comprising a Beer Hall which houses what is believed to be the longest bar in the North of England, the Bowland Brewery, function rooms, café, gelateria and food hall, as well as a 38-bedroom hotel due to open late summer.

Tickets for the day cost £40 each (£25 for members of Marketing Lancashire) including lunch and refreshments and can be purchased online at

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