The Rural Business Awards, supported by Amazon, is the only UK-wide programme dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses.
Kent’s businesses prepare for first ever virtual national final in first ever virtual event.
Four Kent businesses are preparing to battle it out against companies from across the UK ahead of the Amazon backed Rural Business Awards final, which will take place on Thursday 25th February 2021.
The companies are:
- Romney Marsh Wools from Aldington (Best Rural Creative or Artisan Business).
- Detling Community Store from Detling (Best Rural Start Up Business).
- CountryBike from Tunbridge Wells (Best Rural Start Up Business).
- The Oak Barn, Frame Farm from Beneden (The Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award).
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the 2021 finalists will attend an online ceremony where the overall winners in each category will be announced.
This year, businesses had 13 categories they could enter, ranging from Best Rural Start-Up Business and Best Rural Diversification Project, through to Best Rural Professional Services Business and The Triumph Over Adversity Award.
Established in 2008, Romney Marsh Wools is owned and run by Kristina and Paul Boulden and based on the family farm on the Romney Marsh, where they have a flock of 1,200 Romney ewes and 150 Merino ewes. The business produces wool for throws, cushions, hats, scarves, toiletries, gifts and more.
Detling Community Store is a local convenience store, coffee shop and post office formed by a passionate group of local residents determined to bring the heart back into the village. The store is made up of two containers joined together, with a deli counter at one end, outside decking and an internal storeroom. Detling Community store aims to be a destination store too, providing a unique range of stock such as local produce. It is managed by two paid staff and more than 30 volunteers.
CountyBike is a bike hire service located in Tunbridge Wells that also services bikes. CountryBike runs a collection and delivery service for hiring its bikes and its bikes are also located and available for hire via an app at various locations in West Kent and East Sussex – including Penshurts Place, The Spa Valley Railway at Groombridge and Horam on the Cuckoo Trail.
The Oak Barn, Frame Farm is an eco-friendly, Grade II listed venue nestled in the valley of Beneden. The property was purchased by its founders Tim and Deana Maw in 2015, with the intention of creating an exceptional, eco-friendly venue. Low carbon-technology was incorporated into its design and its extensive renovations took over three years to complete. The venue is now an exclusive and aesthetic venue for weddings, other private function and holidays.
Speaking ahead of the final, Tim Maw from The Oak Barn, Frame Farm said: “We are honoured to be shortlisted as a National Finalist for The Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award from Amazon and the Rural Business Awards. We are extremely proud of this recognition as it was our vision to transform this derelict Grade II listed farm into an ecologically conscious venue that would bring economic growth into the local area. As it is only our second year in the wedding and events business, this past year has been an exceptionally difficult and so it was a big boost to our morale to be recognised once again, having been Regional Runner Up for Best Rural Start Up Business last year.”
“The Rural Business Awards is an excellent opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of rural businesses and we’re very proud to be sponsoring the awards, particularly during this challenging year,” said John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “I would like to wish all four businesses the best of luck ahead of the final.”
The Rural Business Awards 2020/21 will mark the Awards’ sixth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural sector, which contributes £299bn in Gross Value Added to the overall UK economy.
The Rural Business Awards is the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain.
Jemma Clifford said: “Every year, the quality of entries blows us away and this year has been no exception. It’s a privilege to showcase the incredible talent of the British rural sector and we would like to wish all the businesses from Kent good luck in the final.”
The award winners will be announced during the virtual ceremony, to be held on Thursday 25th February 2021. To find out more, visit www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk