A DARLINGTON-BASED company has reached the final of a national competition, giving it the chance to put the town on the map as the home of England’s best burger.

Country Valley Foods, in Neasham Road, is one of only 23 companies to reach the final of the competition, organised by industry body Eblex.

It has reached the final with a gold award-winning burger, which scored between 95 and 100 points in the first round.

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In the final round of judging, which takes place on 30 April, all the gold standard burgers will be subjected to further rigorous testing, after which overall winners will be determined.

Winners in each of the four categories - independent butcher, multiple retailer, food service and burgers - will be presented with their awards at an awards ceremony in London on June 4.

Competition organiser Hugh Judd said: “We’ve had some really interesting entries in this year’s competition, with burger manufacturers across all the categories really upping their game, presumably in response to the massive upsurge in the premium burger market.

“The burgers that achieved gold awards really stood out from the rest and this means that the final will be incredibly tough to judge, but the overall category winners will definitely deserve the title of England’s best. We wish all the finalists good luck.”