Bakers south of the border and in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to enter the World Scotch Pie Championship.

The 12-year-old contest celebrates the savoury hand-held snack, made using meat with a spicy seasoning in a pie shell, which has a cult following, especially at football grounds.

Organiser and Scottish Bakers president Alan Stuart said: “We’ve had entries from England in the past, and we always encourage butchers and bakers from areas apart from Scotland to enter. We’re currently talking to people in the trade as far afield as London and Northern Ireland and we’ve had 20 entries so far this year.”

He said the winner could expect to increase their annual turnover by more than 30%: “The publicity nationally and locally can also be invaluable for a business, particularly in recessionary times.”

Alongside Scotch Pies, the competition also has hotly-contested sections for sausage rolls, bridies and speciality products.

Judging takes place at the catering division of Carnegie College, Dunfermline, on 16 November.