Opinion Former Article

Countryside Alliance: ‘Rural Oscars’

‘Rural Oscars’

2011 regional finalists announced

The regional finalists in the 2011 Countryside Alliance Awards have been announced, with diverse businesses from Cornwall to Northumberland vying for a regional title and the chance of national acclaim*. Regional finalists can be viewed by region here http://www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk/article/2011-regional-finalists

The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, are now in their seventh year of celebrating the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work so hard to make it tick. Each regional finalist has received numerous nominations from adoring customers and supporters and hopes to go all the way to the Parliamentary final next March. This year’s finalists include a North Wales shooting school, a community-run pub in Cumbria, Yummy Yorkshire Ice Cream, a Bristol based charity called “Pass it On” which gets youngsters into country sports and a Suffolk riding centre. These enterprises sit alongside farm shops, butchers and the ever-popular village shops.

The Awards run across ten regions in the following categories

Food category finalists
Village Shop/ Post Office category finalists
Enterprise category finalists
Butcher category finalists

Judging will now take place with regional winners being announced in January 2012. Those regional winners will then go forward to the Grand Final at the House of Lords on 7th March 2012. A national judging panel featuring cook and countrywoman Clarissa Dickson Wright, Farmers Guardian Editor Emma Penny, the Daily Telegraph’s Philip Johnston and Hunter Boot’s Chris Dewbury, will select overall Champions in each category. The finals are supported by cross party Parliamentarians keen to support rural enterprise and communities.

Countryside Alliance Awards Director Jill Grieve commented: “We have a high calibre of diverse businesses in the regional finals this year and it is going to be hard for our regional judging teams to choose their winners. These businesses represent the very best of rural produce, enterprise and community spirit and I congratulate the finalists on getting this far in what is an increasingly competitive Awards scheme. We are very proud to celebrate our finalists’ valued contributions to our rural economy and communities.”

Ends…
Notes to editors:
Regional judging will now take place. The Awards run across 10 regions.
* Scottish and Irish finalists will be announced in due course.
Regional winners will be announced in January. They will then go forward to the Grand Final which will be held at Parliament on 7th March 2012. At the Grand Final, overall Champions will be announced.
Find out more about the Awards at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk

For more information contact the press office on 0207 840 9223 or 07775 938792

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