Cheesemakers in Melton Mowbray are launching a new event to rival established UK cheese festivals in a bid to support artisan cheeses from the local area.

The Artisan Cheese Fair organised jointly by the Stilton Cheesemakers' Association, Melton Mowbray Food Partnership and Melton Borough Council will run on 11 and 12 June. The aim is to revive the custom of holding fairs to celebrate local cheesemaking, which started with the 1883 Melton Mowbray Stilton Cheese Fair.

The new fair will celebrate Leicestershire's history of cheesemaking, with particular focus on Stilton and Red Leicester, according to the organisers. "It is unfortunate that the county ­currently does little to ­celebrate its cheese heritage," they said.

The organisers hope the fair will become one of the largest national events for artisan cheesemakers in the country within the next five years.

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