Supermarket retailer Morrisons invited food and drink suppliers from across Cambridgeshire to show off their wares at a special showcase event held in St Ives.

Madame Sunshine attended the showcase in St Ives. Picture: TIM GEORGEMadame Sunshine attended the showcase in St Ives. Picture: TIM GEORGE

The national chain welcomed 26 county firms to the Burgess Hall today (Monday), with producers vying to win a slot on the shelves of Morrisons branches in the region, including a new store set for St Ives.

Work on the town store, to be located in Harrison Way, is set to completed early next year, according to Morrisons.

Paul White, who will be the manager at the store said: "We've listened to local residents who told us they want to see locally and regionally produced food in our new store, and that's what the showcase was all about.

"Morrisons already makes more of its own food than any other supermarket and this search is about finding the best local foodmakers who produce food to suit local tastes to help feed Cambridgeshire.

An artist's impression of the new Morrisons, in St IvesAn artist's impression of the new Morrisons, in St Ives

"The search means that customers will be able to buy more food that was made or produced in Cambridgeshire."

Among the firms showing at the event were: The Ely Gin Company, from East Cambridgeshire; Madame Sunshine, a chutney supplier based in Cambridge; and the Cambridge Cider Company.

St Ives residents, including members of the Women's Institute, were invited to the showcase to help decide which suppliers should make it through to the next stage of the process.

The successful producers will now be invited to a final round interview at Morrisons' head office in Bradford.

Members of Huntingdonshire District Council's development management panel voted in favour of plans to allow the company to open a store in Harrison Way, in February.

The plans will also set the erection of a smaller, non-food retail unit on the site.