Entries into the British Pie Awards 2014 are now being accepted, in what the organisers hope is the biggest contest yet.

Last year’s event attracted 983 entries from bakers and butchers, with organisers The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association (MMPPA) setting a provisional limit of 1,000 entries.

The competition will take place at St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray on Wednesday 30 April 2014.

It features a new category this year – A pie fit for a hero – which has been introduced in recognition of the quality of food prepared by chefs working in the British Armed Forces and associated catering establishments, who are encouraged to enter this particular category.

There are 18 other categories to enter, including: Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, Steak and Ale, Pub Pie, and Dessert Pie.

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the MMPPA, said: “The British Pie Awards allow pie-makers of all sizes from all parts of the industry to demonstrate the quality of their produce.”

Sally Lewis of The Pie Kitchen won the accolade of Supreme Pie Champion in 2013, and has seen sales of her pies double since winning.

Lewis said: “We have been really astounded at the impact winning this award has made to our business.  Not only do more people recognise our brand, but they are more inclined to try our pies when they see we have achieved this Award.”

The deadline for entries is Friday 11 April. Visit www.britishpieawards.co.uk for more information.