THE competition is hotting up for a Chester-based chip shop looking to be crowned the best in the UK.

Fresh from winning the Best Newcomer accolade at the National Fish & Chip Awards last year, Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove in Upton is now aiming to take the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award.

The popular chip shop has already made it down to the final 20 on the UK shortlist, with only two from the North West selected.

Now the draw has been made for a head-to-head round to see which chip shops will make it to the final 10.

Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove has been paired off against The Bearded Sailor in Leeds and mystery shopper judges will decide over the upcoming weeks which of the two is chip-top.

Organised by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, The National Fish & Chip Awards are seen as the UK’s premier awards for fish and chips businesses.

Marcus Coleman, CEO at Seafish, said: “Fish and chips is the healthiest of the traditional takeaways, and we’re pleased to say that the quality on offer across the UK is just as healthy, if not more so, than it was when we launched these awards 32 years ago.

"It’s not easy to break in to the Top 20, so every one of these businesses should be celebrating today.

“Our judges really do scrutinise every aspect of running a fish and chip business, so reaching this stage is a real achievement. If you see your local shop on the list, get down there tonight and show your support. Best of luck to all of them in the next round.”

A portion of fish and chips can also contribute towards one of the recommended five a day portions of fruit and vegetables if mushy peas are included.

It can also be one of the recommended two portions of fish a week that we should all be eating as part of balanced diet.

Fish and chip shops cater to a diverse range of lifestyle and health choices with small portions, gluten-free options and various types of fish widely available.

The winner of the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be announced at The National Fish & Chip Awards’ 32nd anniversary ceremony in London on January 23, 2020.