Organisers of the popular annual British Pie Awards are to move the event back a month next year to coincide with British Pie Week.
The event will be held once again at St Mary’s Church in Melton during the second week in March instead of its traditional April date to give it even more prominence.
British Pie Week, which started eight years ago, features a programme of activities celebrating the nation’s love of pies.
And pie awards chairman Matthew O’Callaghan said the move to hold the event during the pie week would help promote it to an even larger number of people across the country and help consolidate the town’s reptuations as the rural capital of food.
He said: “When I started the awards I had intended to create a British Pie Week but I was a bit slow off the mark and someone else started the pie week off.
“But it makes sense for us to hold the awards during pie week rather than us both sending out conflicting messages at different times of the year.
“We are really looking forward to moving the awards to the pie week in 2016.”
The news comes in a week where a report was released showing that the British Pie Awards and another annual Melton food festival, the Artisan Cheese Fair, over the May Day bank holiday weekend, received more than seven times the media publicity than the year before.
The data shows that almost 300 million people were reached by publicity of the events, thanks to coverage in national newspapers and lifestyle magazines, on national radio and the popular televisions shows, Sunday Brunch and Loose Women, compared to 40 million the year before.
Mr O’Callaghan added: “Both the British Pie Awards and Artisan Cheese Fair in their own way have reached significant numbers of people and have enhanced Melton’s reputation for food nationally and internationally.
“I am sure this will be reflected in the long term by increased visitors coming to the town and in people buying our products.”