THE World Meat Pie Championships are returning to Barnoldswick.

Following a successful launch in February 2015, the second annual event will form part of Barnoldswick’s St George’s Day celebrations on Saturday, April 23.

The World Meat Pie Championships, organised by the Town Centre Action Group in conjunction with Visit Barnoldswick, is a free competition open to amateur home bakers and pie makers, with separate sections for professionals.

Contrary to the name, the competition features much more than just meat pies, as it also includes cheese and onion, vegetarian and potato pies as well as meat pies including steak, chicken and ham.

Organisers were pleased the inaugural event exceeded all expectations, with plenty of excellent entries from both home bakers and professionals.

"Last year's event was a great success," said organiser James Wilson, a former presenter for Fresh Radio. "I used to co-present with Julian Hotchkiss and he used to bring pies in to work.

"While eating them on set, we'd have a bit of silly banter about pies," he said. "I then got invited to be a celebrity judge in a pie competition.

"The initial one was the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage and Products Competition. That was 2009 and I've judged pie competitions every year since."

Although Mr Wilson was not an official judge for last year's inaugural World Meat Pie Championships, he used his expertise to advise judges on what to look for in a good pie, such as flavour, overall bake and spillages.

Mr Wilson, who lives in Barnoldswick, said one of his first observations about the local area was the popularity of cheese and onion pies - and indeed, it was a cheese and onion pie that won last year's competition.

This year's championships will be held with a food festival. "It's is all about celebrating food in this region," said Mr Wilson.

He pointed out the event would give visitors a chance to sample an "awful lot" of different kinds of food.

In addition to a variety of stalls, one of the big features of the food festival will be cookery demonstrations.

The World Meat Pie Championships and the food festival will take place in Barnoldswick's Civic Hall.

Last year's inaugural World Meat Pie Championships gave Barlickers a chance to celebrate the town winning a Great British High Street award.

But this year organisers decided to move the event from February to run it in conjunction with St George's Day.

Richard Milner, from the Town Centre Action Group, said: "We want to make it a bigger event, and by having it in April we're hoping the weather will be better."

Organisers are also encouraging early entries into the World Meat Pie Championships. To enter or for more information, visit