A CHAIN which runs a much-loved chippy in Chelmsford has reached the final of a major national competition.

Churchill’s Fish and Chips has a total of 13 takeaways and restaurants in Essex, including in Pitsea, Rawreth, Rayleigh, Chelmsford and South Woodham Ferrers.

It has reached the final of the British Takeaway Awards for best restaurant chain.

The next stage is a mystery shop and then a judging panel will question the five finalists. Winners will be announced at the London awards on September 6.

Customers have praised the chain on TripAdvisor. 

One said: "We had take away fish and chips and mushy peas tonight from Churchill’s at Beaulieu Chelmsford, it was absolutely beautiful, can’t recommend it enough."

Another added: "This is my go to fish and chip takeaway in Chelmsford! Always freshly cooked, quick service and tastes great."

Read more >> The best fish and chip shops in Chelmsford based on reviews

Bosses say staff are a key part of its success after having to change their way of working when the pandemic arrived.

James Lipscombe, 40, chief executive of Churchills, said he is over the moon the firm has become a finalist.

He said: “It’s fantastic to get the recognition for all the hard work we’ve been doing to transform the business in the pandemic and the work we continue to do to serve great quality fish and chips, deliveries and click and collection too. The team had to change and adapt the ways we have been working and now we have invested in more than 80 delivery vehicles.”