THE owners of Shap Chippy say they are “over the moon” to be among the top ten finalists in the National Fish and Chip Awards 2020.

Married couple Matt and Ashley Phillips took over the Main Street takeaway and restaurant in July 2018.

Matt said customers travel from as far afield as Kendal, Lancaster and Carlisle for their crispy cod and double-cooked chips ,and their team's ethos is: "If you wouldn't serve it to your gran, it doesn't go out."

The winner of the fish and chip shop of the year award will be announced at the National Fish and Chip Awards’ 32nd anniversary awards ceremony in London on January 23, 2020.

The shortlist for the National Fish and Chip Awards was drawn up following rounds of mystery shopper visits and "intensive audits".

Ashley Phillips, co-owner of Shap Chippy, said: "We are over the moon! Our team consistently deliver 100 per cent every time and this achievement to make the top ten really is a testament to their passion for the industry and the product they serve."

The awards are organised by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10 billion UK seafood industry.

Matt Phillips added: "To be recognised as one of the top ten when we are competing against the best of the best is such a humbling achievement. Ashley is off to Norway to join a study trip with Seafish to learn where our fish is sourced, how it's caught and why MSC [Marine Conservation Society] sustainability in today’s climate is so important."

Marcus Coleman, Seafish's chief executive officer at Seafish, said: “These ten finalists represent the best fish and chips on offer the UK today. They are consistently excelling across all areas and providing their customers with healthy, high-quality fish and chips on every visit. Each of them is a credit to the industry and should be commended on the commitment they have shown to maintaining its fantastic reputation."

The finalists for best fish and chip shop 2020 are, in alphabetical order:

- Carron Fish Bar, Stonehaven, Grampian

- Dolphin Takeaway, Duncannon, Country Tyrone

- Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove, Chester

- Golden Carp, Redditch, Worcestershire

- Hiks, Swansea

- HOOKED@31, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire

- Rockfish, Brixham, Devon

- Seafare, Guildford, Surrey

- Shap Chippy, Shap, Cumbria

- The Cod’s Scallops, Nottingham.