LISHMAN’S Butchers in Ilkley has been crowned the best butchers shop in Britain.

The multi award-winning Leeds Road shop was first announced as winner of North of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year – the third time they have won the regional title - before learning that they had also clinched the overall UK Best Butchers Shop accolade in one of the meat industry’s 2017 highlights.

David Lishman and his daughter Emma received the double honour at a presentation ceremony staged at County Hall, London, on Monday, by organisers and hosts, the industry magazine, Meat Trades Journal.

David said: “This is the undoubted highlight and the pinnacle of our numerous achievements in the meat trades awards arena over many years. UK Butchers Shop of the Year is the one we all want to win. We were up against some of the best butchers in the land. To be chosen as the best of the best is a glowing tribute.

“This year alone, we have invested close on £250,000 in new in-house smoking, charcuterie and bakery facilities. We are constantly trying to improve and develop the business and this superb success is an all-round team effort. We are absolutely over the moon.”

Over the last 23 years, Butchers Shop of the Year has built a solid reputation for recognising and celebrating excellence, innovation and quality in the UK’s butchery industry.

Meat Trades Journal deputy editor Aidan Fortune said the judging for this year’s awards was tough, with all entries displaying a high level of quality.

“This has been one of the toughest years of judging Butcher’s Shop of the Year. Every single entry had a top quality business and made a strong case for winning their category,” he said.

“Lishman’s displayed extremely high standards across the board and their passion, enthusiasm and industry knowledge set them apart from the competition. It also shows that just because a business has been in operation for over 30 years, it doesn’t mean that they can’t try something new and make investments.”

It was the second major award secured by Lishman’s Butchers within a matter of days. The previous Wednesday, Lishman’s joined 300 other food producers from across the region in the Pavilions of Harrogate for the 2017 Deliciouslyorkshire Taste Awards, where the shop picked up the Best Pork Pie in Yorkshire title.

The Taste Award Pork Pie category is always one of the most hotly contested and for many established butchers across the county this, too, is the one to win. According to the organisers, this year’s pie from Lishman’s romped to victory thanks to its delicious flakey pastry and succulent flavoursome filling. “A pie to be proud of - we want seconds,” commented the judges.

Lishman’s Butchers, founded in 1986 and last year celebrating its landmark 30th anniversary, remains one of Britain’s best known and most successful butchers.

The family-run business is now into its second generation, with David joined by his 28-year-old daughter Emma two years ago. She shares her father’s passion for all things meat-related and continues to introduce new ideas and inspiration into the business.

The shop, which sources the majority of its meat from established Yorkshire farms, employs a 14 strong team.

Of late, its in-house Charcuterie has gone from strength to strength and earlier this year Lishman’s Yorkshire Chorizo picked up a highly coveted 3-Star Great Taste award. The annual showcase, organised by The Guild of Fine Food, is described as the world’s most coveted food awards.

David Lishman, himself one of the best known names in the industry sector, is north-east regional chairman and national vice-chairman of the Butchers Q Guild, which represents 121 award-winning independent butchers UK-wide. He is due to take over as national chairman early next year.