CELEBRITY chef Tom Bridge has spent the past 30 years backing Bolton’s award-winning market — and is now calling on shoppers to do likewise.

The market, in Ashburner Street, was voted the best indoor market in Britain this year by the National Association of British Market Authorities.

Now, it is holding another competition — this time based purely on shoppers’ votes.

As part of The Bolton News We’re Backing Bolton campaign, which was launched in association with Bolton Council, we are urging readers to help make Bolton Market the shopper’s favourite for the second year running.

Mr Bridge, who used the market to launch his latest book, Pie Society, earlier this year, said: “I’ve been shopping at the market for 30 years and it has got to be the best local market in the country.

“It is better value than any supermarket, local to everyone and you can actually see what you’re buying.

“I’ve been doing demos here for the past year and I’m definitely going to be voting for the market to win. I’d urge everyone else to do the same.”

Bolton Market has a growing reputation as the premier food market in the North West, and it has gained a number of other famous fans including Si King and Dave Myers, from The Hairy Bikers, and Thomasina Miers.

The National Association of British Market Authorities awards promote and celebrate the importance of local markets where high standards of service, products and good practice can be found.

Bolton Market is also holding a free daily prize draw on market days, from December 2 to December 21.

Cash-and-carry operator Costco Wholesale has donated 12 prizes, including a Blu Ray DVD player and spa and golf vouchers.

Cllr Akhtar Zaman, Bolton Council’s Executive member for environmental services, said: “We were crowned Best Indoor Market of the year earlier in 2010 and this would be another massive boost for us.”

Shoppers can register their vote online until January 13 by visiting nabma.com and clicking on the apple image.

The Bolton News has teamed up with Bolton Council to launch the We’re Backing Bolton campaign to get Boltonians to take a fresh look at what the borough has to offer and to “think local”

this Christmas