Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Tim Bonner writes:
One of the projects we are proudest of at the Alliance are the Countryside Alliance Awards. The awards ceremony, held in June in the House of Lords, is always an extraordinary gathering of wonderful, committed rural people and one of the highlights of our year.
It has been 14 years since the Countryside Alliance started the ‘Rural Oscars’, our annual celebration of British food and farming, enterprise and heritage by recognising our small hard-working businesses. Since then it has grown to be the gold standard of rural business awards, honouring thousands of rural businesses from post offices and butchers to pubs and farm shops. Importantly the Awards also deliver a huge amount of publicity to the finalists and winners delivering a real boost to their businesses.
The ‘Rural Oscars’ are set apart from other award schemes because we want to hear direct from customers who value and love their butcher, baker or bee brick maker. People tell us about the businesses they nominate “This business will not just go the extra mile. They will pick you up and carry you the extra mile.” And businesses who have won say “This is not just a win for us, but our whole community.”
The feelgood factor of these Awards cannot be underestimated. Last year we received over 11,000 nominations which were whittled down to the individual winners celebrated in Westminster.
Nominations are now open here for all categories:
- Local Food & Drink
- Village Shop/ Post Office
- Rural Enterprise
Nominations will close on 9 December 2018 with regional champions announced in May 2019. Welsh Champions will be declared at the Senedd in April and will then join English finalists for the Champions’ Reception at the House of Lords.
So if you have a post office, a butcher, a pub or any other business in your area that goes above and beyond to provide a great service go online at the Countryside Alliance website here www.countryside-alliance.org/caawards and tell us who you want to be honoured and why.
Follow me at @CA_TimB