The East Midlands Development Agency has revealed the frontrunner in the search for a site for Britain's first large-scale regional food hall.

A 19th century conservatory at Buxton's Pavilion Gardens has emerged as the favourite among consumers in research by EMDA.

EMDA is working with High Peak Borough Council on a proposal to develop the 30,000 sq ft site, with a public consultation on the venture, which involves full restoration of the Grade II-listed Pavilion Gardens building, set to follow.

Chris Brock, EMDA head of sector innovation, said the proposed food hall would be a "permanent food festival" selling fresh and speciality food from quality regional producers.

However, funding still had to be secured and the cost worked out. Brock said: "The previous estimate was £8m but that was when we thought it was going to be a greenfield site."

Local suppliers and retailers were enthusiastic about the project, he said.