The community joined together in Ilkley to celebrate Yorkshire being named the UK’s first Fairtrade region.

Ilkley Fairtrade Group was at the centre of celebrations on Friday, as they hosted an event at Christchurch, in The Grove.

The event recognised the area’s commitment to buying goods which give producers in developing countries a fairer deal.

The declaration marks the culmination of three years’ work by campaigners and traders across Yorkshire.

The celebration coffee morning was opened by Moornotes Choir, who gave a performance of a specially-adapted Fairtrade version of On Ilkley Moor Bah T’at, which was written for the occasion by Peter Higginbotham.

Karen Palframan, chairman of Ilkley Fairtrade Group and Bradford Fairtrade Zone, said of the performance: “That was superb and unlike anything anyone has seen before. The words to the song really encapsulate what Fairtrade is all about.”

The event was attended by local dignitaries including Ilkley Parish Council chairman Councillor Heathcliffe Bowen and Bradford’s Lord Mayor Councillor Dale Smith and Lady Mayoress Margaret Smith. Fairtrade items were on sale, including cakes baked by Ilkley Grammar School pupils, and a variety of items were available to buy from Traidcraft, Zaytoun and Neema on craft stalls.

Ilkley Grammar students also explained the work they are doing towards gaining Fairtrade School status.

Speeches were made by Mark Dowson, co-ordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, who said: “It is a tremendous achievement. The people of Ilkley and the Bradford district can be proud of the contribution they have made towards making the area a Fairtrade hotspot.”

Bruce Crowther MBE. who founded the Fairtrade town’s movement, said: “You must be proud to be a Yorkshire person today. Being the first in the UK is a spectacular day for the whole nation.

“Becoming the first Fairtrade region we are pushing the boundaries for a better and fairer world.”

A member of the Fairtrade Foundation presented the Fairtrade Region certificate to Bradford district Fairtrade supporters and dignitaries.

Councillor Smith said: “It has been a fabulous day, it is wonderful for Yorkshire. The Bradford district played a very strong part in getting this accolade.

“It is a pleasure to see Ilkley Grammar School pupils here who have baked various items. It is so important to encourage the younger people who will be the future promoters of Fairtrade.”