THE founders of Bolton’s first cider company are celebrating after being presented with their first award.

Red Bank Cider owners Lee and Anita Thorne won the newcomer “Cider of the Festival” accolade at the Greater Manchester Cider and Perry Festival.

The couple, who make their product at a Westhoughton brewery, only launched the cider in June.

Mr Thorne said: “Interest and support from CAMRA, customers and several pubs has been brilliant.

“Our cider has gone down well, not only in the North West, particularly Bolton, Bury, Wigan and Liverpool, but word — and the cider — has also reached as far as Greece and Canada.

“Many people prefer a good quality drink and we saw a gap in the market for producing proper cider made with virtually 100 per cent apples.

“As our cider doesn’t contains any artificial sweeteners and artificial flavours it tastes great — and our customers love the fact it is a local cider.”

The duo received their award at the Levers Arms, Darcy Lever, from CAMRA’s Greater Manchester co-ordinator Mike Gilroy.