FINE foods and artisan products from across Europe will be on offer in Clitheroe when the rural town hosts its first continental market next month.

The three-day market will take over Clitheroe Market car park from Thursday, April 17, to Saturday April 19, and will offer a wide range of products from across the continent for sale.

Geraud Markets, which manages 55 continental markets across the country including the famous Covent Garden Sunday Market, has secured more than 50 stallholders from all four corners of Europe to sell their wares over the three days.

The market will feature continental cheeses, German sausages, handmade jewellery and French charcuterie.

Clitheroe Market is also expected to open on the Friday, which is not a normal market day, while the Friday flea market will operate as usual.

Clitheroe Town councillor Simon O’Rourke said: “It’s a brilliant idea and it’s just what we need as part of the drive to get more people into the town.

“It’s a very positive step for Clitheroe and it will be great to see the different nationalities and the different food in the town.

“My only problem is that it’s being held on the car park and that means that there will be less car parking spaces in the town on those three days.

“I’m especially worried about disabled parking and I’ve asked the council whether New Market Street could be disabled parking only for those days.

“I’d like to see them organise a Park and Ride during the market. It works very well during the Food Festival.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “"Clitheroe is famed for its independent retailers, while the Ribble Valley Food Trail and Clitheroe Food Festival attract thousands of shoppers and food enthusiasts to the borough every year.

"Now we have the opportunity to launch this year's summer season with a fantastic shopping experience that will put Clitheroe even more firmly on the North West retail map.”